Vail Valley’s Nicki Mills says she’ll bring a servant’s heart to the state legislature | VailDaily.com

Vail Valley’s Nicki Mills says she’ll bring a servant’s heart to the state legislature

AVON — Nicki Mills has knocked on thousands of doors and shaken tens of thousands of hands introducing herself.

"Hi, I'm Nicki Mills and I want to serve you in Colorado's state legislature," she has said dozens of times a day, every day, since June when she jumped into the race for Colorado's House District 26.

Mills, a Republican, said it's not enough to represent Eagle and Routt counties in Colorado's House of Representatives.

"I want to serve the people of House District 26," Mills said. "My heart truly is a servant's heart. I'm going to be their heart, their eyes and voice."

How can we help you?

Without fail, she asks people what they want their state government to do for them. Some seem surprised, usually in a good way.

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"People are happy someone is asking what they think. People want to be listened to," Mills said. "I have things in common with everyone, and I can be their voice."

Health insurance costs and housing still top most people's lists of concerns, along with better paying jobs, she said.

She says she's "sick and tired" of going to friends' going away parties because they can no longer afford to live here, driven out by the high cost of housing and health insurance.

"It's one of my driving forces. I hope to make a difference," Mills said.

She's skilled at relationships, she said, and that will help create the kind of across-the-aisle cooperation needed to generate solutions to the region's problems.

High cost of health insurance

Mills said direct primary care could be part of the solution to the region's skyrocketing health insurance costs, the nation's highest. Direct primary care is a billing and payment arrangement between patients and health care providers, without involving insurance companies.

Price transparency is another, for both medical providers and insurance companies.

Patients and consumers should know what procedures cost in different places; that's the only way they'll be able to make informed decisions, Mills said.

Long on life experience

Mills said she's long on life experience and short on political experience, which she said is exactly what the statehouse needs.

"The last thing we need is another career politician in the statehouse," Mills said. "I'm not on the political ladder. I want to stay here and serve the people of Eagle and Routt counties."

Mills owns her own business, helped found a kindergarten through eighth-grade Montessori School and has worked in the electric utility.

She wants to launch a business-development council to help people start businesses and develop the businesses they have.

"Several local and regional businesses are successful; their employees are happy with the pay and benefits," she said.

The key is to help create more businesses like them, she said.

Grew up serving

Mills grew up working in a food bank that her grandmother founded. She's a gun rights advocate who spent part of her youth hanging out in a deer stand with her mom every hunting season.

"That is a tradition I want to continue with my children. I want them to be able to have the same rights that I grew up with," Mills said.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

For more information about Republican Nicki Mills, candidate for Colorado House District 26, go to https://nickimills.com.