Breaking News Stories

Flinn-Brown Fellow and former Jerome mayor Nikki Check looking to serve her county  

Nikki Check

(Jerome, 2012)
Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Candidates

“The Flynn Brown community is something that I continue to lean on emotionally. I still lean on that concept because I know that there is a group of people who genuinely want to find bipartisan solutions and are more focused on what people have in common rather than how they are different from each other. That was the Flynn Brown cohort.” Nikki Check

Nikki Check is an Arizona native who has lived in Yavapai County most of her life, and she hopes to run for county office in the near future. Check, a former mayor of the city of Jerome, is currently running in the primary for Yavapai County Board of Supervisors District 3, hoping to give her son's generation a reason to stay in Arizona.

The 2012 Flynn Brown Fellow previously studied agriculture at Yavapai College and Prescott College before taking a policy internship in Wisconsin.

She returned to Arizona when a friend asked her to help renovate an old stagecoach stop built in 1860. A call to work in the wine industry turned that summer into a staycation. “It was very romantic. It was so much fun mowing the grass and hammering posts into the rocky soil. And the best part was doing it with a smile on my face,” Check said.

Cech served as Mayor of Jerome from June 2012 to November 2014. In 2016, he was a candidate for Arizona State Senate District 6.

“Without my experience with Flynn Brown and knowing that there was a great need in the state legislature, I don't think I would have voted for it. I was 1,700 votes away from winning that race,” Cech said. “It was difficult, but overall it was a success. I learned an incredible amount from that top-three race.”

After the 2016 race, Cech had a health crisis that caused him to lose his short-term memory. It took him years to recover, but Cech's tenacity only grew stronger.

“I feel like people think about politics and public office that you have to live the perfect life or be the perfect person to even consider running for office. There are certain benefits to that because you're in a position where you're going to be scrutinized at every level. But I think what's more important than striving for perfection is really understanding how running for office will serve your purposes,” she said.

Chek is proud of the fact that she was able to be the person she is, exposing her vulnerabilities in the process of becoming a public servant, but not letting those vulnerabilities hinder her ability to be a public servant.

In 2009, Check helped found the Southwest Wine Center at Yavapai College and later served as Director of Viticulture, helping to build an industry that is uniquely Arizona while fostering sustainable economic opportunity.

Cech said one of the lessons he's learned from his viticulture endeavors echoes the message he took away from his time at Flynn Brown: “When you try to do things on your own, it doesn't work very well.”

“I came to understand the power of that process, which has now translated into my desire to make it happen at a political level. I think it's exactly this emotion that's needed to move policy forward,” Cech said. “It was an amazing experience, and its legacy lives on in the many students who have graduated and gone on to plant their own vineyards and have their own wine labels. It's really gratifying to be able to look back and think that I played a part in opening those doors for so many people.”

The Impossible Peace of Kuchumakik
Martin Prechtel

Book Recommendation:

The Impossible Peace of Kuczmakik by Martin Prechter

“It's really a story of hope, of how to rebuild culture from what we have in the modern world. It's a powerful story of hope and a good story for politicians to read.” [Martín Prechtel] Life was incredibly political.”

You can view all of the Flinn-Brown Fellows' profiles here.

Share this post:

Related Posts