Arizona Corporation Commission candidate Kevin Thompson
By Ananya Tiwari | Arizona Republic
Since he was a child, Kevin Thompson has taken things apart to know how they work — even though his father, a sign painter near Dallas, Texas, encouraged Thompson’s artistic skills.
“He would paint big sale signs on the windows and stuff,” said Thompson, 54, adding that he was not even “remotely interested” in it, as the profession was dying out. After learning how be an auto mechanic, he joined the Air Force as a jet mechanic at 19.
A few years later, he attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, while on duty at the nearby Air Force base, majoring in mechanical engineering, and eventually joining Southwest Gas as an engineer, though he was terminated after 16 years there.
His interest in seeing how cities functioned behind the scenes later on prompted him to run for Mesa City Council, where he has served as a member since 2014.
Now, Thompson wants to put his experiences to use on the Arizona Corporation Commission.
Along with Nicholas Myers and Kim Owens, Thompson is running in the Republican primary on Aug. 2 for a seat on the commission. Thompson and Myers are partnering in the election where two seats are up for grabs, meaning only two of the GOP candidates will advance to the November ballot.
The Arizona Corporation Commission sets rates for utilities and maintains railroad and pipeline systems, among other roles, and is an elected body made up of five commissioners.