It’s been a year since Nikki Bagley [née Check] stepped away from politics but now it’s time for her to once again throw her hat in the ring.
On Saturday, Dec. 12, she announced her plans to run for the District 6 senate seat.
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“I felt it was the right time and the right thing to do,” she said.
Bagley spent a total of three years as mayor and councilwoman for Jerome City Council but stepped down in January after the birth of her son. It’s that experience which she feels will benefit her at the next level.
“As mayor I developed a certain skill set which I believe is needed at the legislative level,” the Yavapai County native said. “I feel I have the skills and the gusto to be a good representative of the district.”
As for her two and a half years as mayor she said, “I enjoyed being engaged by the community and getting to solve problems that came up. Jerome has a very tight budget but we were still able to get a lot done, which was very gratifying. I feel we made a big difference during that time.”
After mulling over for a few weeks as to whether or not to run, she made the decision to do so just two days prior to her announcement.
“I thought it over quite a bit and thanks to the support of my husband and family, I decided to do it,” she said. “I think I’m ready. As mayor I worked a lot with the League of ArizonaCities and Towns as well as the wine industry and learned a lot. I really have a love for crafting public policy. It’s something I’m good at and once it was in my system, I haven’t been able to let it go.”
While the birth of her first child led to her stepping down from council, he is also a big reason why she’s decided to run for senate.
“I want him to have a life and options here as he gets older,” she said. “After his birth, it made me focus more on long-range goals. So I want to help make Arizona the best place possible for he and others to live.”
The 31-year-old said one of the biggest issues facing the district is education at all levels. She said it’s important to improve the education system and at the same time bring in entrepreneurs and businesses to not only grow the workforce but to keep students in the area after graduating.
District 6 is a large area that includes Verde Valley communities like Sedona, Cottonwood, Jerome and Camp Verde as well as those further away like Flagstaff, Williams, Holbrook and Payson. Bagley said she’s ready to hit the campaign trail — albeit a long one.
“It’s going to be a challenge but I’m up for it,” she said. “As mayor I did lot of networking with officials from many of these communities. I plan to do everything I can to make community events, go door to door and make phone calls while reaching out and listening to the wants and needs of these communities. Listening is the key for any good leader.”
If elected, she said it’s crucial to remember the people who put her there.
“I would rely upon that same network of people to help keep me informed,” Bagley said. “I would want to know what’s happening in every community and will be happy to respond to phone calls and emails. Listening will be my highest priority.”