Survivor winner Nick Wilson to run unopposed for Kentucky’s 82nd House District seat

Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 12:31 PM EST
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WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - Nick Wilson, a Republican, will run unopposed for the 82nd House District seat after no Republican or Democrat challengers filed for the election.

”Seeing our State Legislators actually discuss the bills, debate them on the floor and have a vote really inspired me that, in the state house, our politicians are really trying to do what they think is right for their constituents,” Wilson said.

While he thinks that Survivor taught him a lot, he doesn’t see that success translating directly to governance.

”Survivor to me was a game and politics to me is not a game,” he said. “It’s something that touches the everyday lives of everyday people.”

He does believe his five years practicing law will be a benefit to his constituents if he goes to Frankfort.

”I’ve been a lawyer for five years in criminal law,” he said. “A Public Defender and a Prosecutor, and I’ll be able to use my legal knowledge to craft legislation.”

The seat is currently held by Representative Regina Huff, who announced she will not seek reelection in November. The 82nd district includes parts of Laurel and Whitley Counties.

And while Survivor will not necessarily translate to his style of governance, the experiences he had from participating in the show twice might. He said seeing different places and meeting different people was his biggest takeaway.

”We have so much talent here,” he said. “That’s one thing I learned from travelling. We have so much unique talent in Appalachia and it would be great to see more economic opportunities for employment, for education [and] for trade schools.”

Rep. Huff served in the General Assembly since 2011 and endorsed Wilson in the 2022 election.

“To receive an endorsement from the current representative who has decided to step down and retire, that was an extreme honor to me,” said Wilson. “So, I’m very grateful for that.”

Seeming excited at the prospect of representing Kentucky’s 82nd, Wilson is optimistic it will be a community service.

”I hope that we can just help people,” he said. “And I think that’s where our legislature is right now. I think that they’re not playing a lot of games in Frankfort. I think they’re really trying to pass legislation in Frankfort.”

Wilson currently serves as an assistant Commonwealth Attorney for Whitley and McCreary counties. He won season 37 of CBS’s castaway contest show, Survivor, and finished in seventh place season 40.

The primary election is on May 17 and the General Election follows on November 8.

There is is still the possibility and Independent candidate will file in the General Election for Kentucky’s 82nd House seat. There will also be a write-in option on the ballots in November.

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