Kennedy plans to run for House seat held by Tipton

Chris Kennedy



Oohrah!

That term — which means, “Charge!” — is what Grand Junction City Councilor and former Marine Chris Kennedy is saying today as he officially launches his bid for the Democratic nomination for the 3rd Congressional District.

“It’s an old Marine adage, I don’t care if you’re red, white, blue, black, brown, gay or straight, it doesn’t matter as long as we understand the mission,” Kennedy said. “You know my job, I know your job. We accomplish it together and we leave nobody behind. It’s that sense of service that I want to bring to the constituents that make up CD3 and live that every day.”

He said that’s what’s wrong with the current representation for the expansive district, which stretches from Pueblo to Durango to Craig. That person is U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, a Republican who has not yet said if he plans to run for a fifth term.

Kennedy said it’s acceptable for the 3rd CD representative to disagree with his constituents, but it isn’t to side only with special interests.

“We can do a lot to ensure that the next person that’s in that seat is representing the entire district, and not just a couple of special interests that happen to fund their campaign,” Kennedy said without mentioning Tipton by name. “It’s more about ensuring that we reach across lines, communicate with each other, work and be pragmatic about solutions. I don’t come from totally the left side, I don’t come from totally the right side. I consider myself a social liberal but an economic conservative.”

Currently, the only other candidate officially in the race is state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, a Democrat from Steamboat Springs.

Kennedy said his chief goal if elected is to help cities and towns in the congressional district to diversify their economies.

While he said he supports the extraction industries and wants them to do well, its volatility leaves district residents vulnerable when it comes to maintaining jobs and economic development.

To get there, Kennedy would push for expanded broadband throughout the district, saying it’s an infrastructure issue akin to rural electrification of the last century.

“We need to be focused on rural economic development and what we need to do to bridge the gap for communities that have been dependent on extractive energies,” he said. “Broadband is the next piece of what we can do to help rural communities thrive and then survive. It’s not a panacea but it’s an integral part of the solution.”


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