GJ legislator announces Senate bid
By LE ROY STANDISH
Before a gathering of some 60 people, Rep. Steve King, R-Grand Junction, threw his hat into the ring Monday morning at Eagle Rim Park, announcing his bid for the state Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, who is running for governor.
\“After talking with my family and friends and looking at where we could have the most effect, where we could have the most success, it looks like that senate seat is the decision and the right way to go, not only for my family, but also for the people I represent in (House) District 54 and hopefully in (Senate) District 7,” King said.
Job creation and revitalizing the Western Slope’s economy would be his two main goals if elected, he said.
“Job creation and turning this economy around is critical,” King said. “There is a lot of fear out there about our economy.”
Heating up the economy does not have to come at the expense of the environment, he added.
“We will never sacrifice our environmental heritage or the health and safety of our citizens,” King said.
The governor’s office and both state houses are firmly in Democratic control, but “that doesn’t mean you stop fighting the fight,” King said. “Even more so there is a need for good, conservative common sense.”
King said it is more important than ever for Mesa County to have a solid conservative giving it a voice under the gold dome.
“You fight the fight from a policy standpoint that represents your district,” King said.
He said he would be a Republican voice in a sea of liberalism, cast in a similar mold to former Sen. Ron Teck and current Sen. Penry, both in Senate District 7.
“I will continue that fight,” King said.
Teck said he is 100 percent behind King.
“I’m glad we had a good guy to step up into (Penry’s) role,” Teck said. “I think he will do a great job.”
As for King’s House seat, which covers parts of both Mesa and Delta counties, King said he is confident there will be many qualified candidates who will run for the office.
“There is a lot of talented people in both Mesa and Delta counties that will do an outstanding job for Mesa County,” King said. “I don’t think we are at a loss for qualified people to represent the people in District 54.”
Penry has said he will serve out the remainder of his Senate term, which expires at the end of this year, whether he is triumphant or not in his bid for the governor’s seat.
King, 51, and his wife, Daun, have three sons.
King has lived in Grand Junction since 1977. He spent 18 years with the Grand Junction Police Department and has worked the past eight years with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department. He has been a representative from Grand Junction for three years.