My name is Mike Coblenz and I’m a Democrat running for Congress in the Sixth District of Kentucky.
My father was in the military when I was born and we moved frequently while I was growing up. I lived in eight places before attending high school in Springfield, Illinois. I went to the University of Illinois for college, studying mechanical engineering, and then joined the Air Force after graduation.
My first assignment was as an engineer designing heating and ventilating systems at Offutt AFB in Omaha, Nebraska. After about a year I decided I wanted to do something more interesting, so I applied to flight training. I became a B-52 navigator and was stationed at Fairchild AFB in Spokane, Washington. I spent nearly four years flying in the B-52.
During this time I worked on a Master’s Degree in U.S. History. I also got married. I separated from the Air Force in 1990, finished my Masters degree, and then went to law school at Gonzaga University, in Spokane.
After law school, and the birth of our daughter, we moved to Seattle so my wife could work on her PhD. We lived in Seattle for nearly two years. My family lives in Texas – my parents moved to Houston while I was in college – and my wife has family in Texas, Kentucky and Ohio. It was difficult and expensive to travel, particularly with a small child, so we decided to move closer to family. I applied for, and was accepted into, a Master’s program in Intellectual Property Law at the University of Houston, so in 1997 we moved to Houston. After completing my Masters, I worked as a patent attorney at a couple of large law firms in downtown Houston. We enjoyed living near family, but little else about Houston. We grew tired of the traffic, the sprawl and the heat, and in 2003 we decided to move.
We decided to move to Lexington because my wife has family in the area. We also moved to Lexington for the same reason as thousands of new residents every year: it is a beautiful small city with many of the amenities of a larger city – like theaters and restaurants – but without the problems of the big city – like traffic and housing prices. Lexington offers so much, including a mild climate, good schools, family friendly neighborhoods and a high quality of life, and we are happy that we chose to move here.
I’ve spent the last twelve years in solo practice as a patent attorney. I obtain patents, trademarks and copyrights for individual inventors and small businesses. My wife completed her PhD and is now in private practice as a licensed clinical social worker. My daughter graduated from Tates Creek High School in 2013, and is now studying biomedical engineering at Georgia Tech.
I should also mention that I like to write. I’ve published a number of articles in law reviews and legal magazines, and published a few Op/Ed articles in newspapers including the Lexington Herald-Leader. My writing is warehoused at www.michaelcoblenz.com. I have a blog where I post occasionally – The Disappointed Optimist – and I occasionally post things to the liberal blog Daily Kos – http://www.dailykos.com/blog/MikeCoblenz/