Chris Kennedy for
House District 55

 

****************************GJ Sentinel Endorsement****************************

The GJ Sentinel has endorsed Chris Kennedy for House District 55

 

Kennedy for House 55

By The Daily Sentinel 
Friday, October 10, 2014

Dan Thurlow’s campaign slogan is “Let’s Do Something Different.” But his mantra of reducing excessive regulation and cutting “waste, fraud and abuse” in government can hardly be considered outside-the-box thinking. The GOP has beaten that drum for years.

If voters really want a different approach to government, we urge them to vote for Democrat Chris Kennedy, Thurlow’s opponent in House District 55.

This is no knock on Thurlow. He’s a sage businessman who has diversified his company, CPC Solutions, by adding packaging production to his printing operations to capitalize on an emerging Internet-driven market. He’s an employer in a manufacturing setting who has created jobs, dealt with regulatory agencies and grappled with thorny issues, such as rising health-care costs.

But he brings a bottom-line business approach to government. For example, even though Mesa County’s per-pupil student funding is among the lowest in the state, Thurlow said he’s not convinced more money would change anything. He criticized the Legislature’s appropriation for an aerial firefighting fleet, saying it could acquire spotter planes for far less than the $11 million it budgeted. He disagreed with the editorial board’s position that the state has to find a way to boost spending on higher education.

Certainly, these are valid positions. But we came way with the impression that Thurlow sees government as something to limit. Kennedy sees government as something to leverage for the benefit of the Western Slope. For example, the school funding formula sends our tax dollars to wealthier counties in the state. We need representatives who will pull dollars this way, not just limit the dollars spent statewide.

Government can “be the great equalizer” in determining a community’s success, Kennedy said. To that end, he’s for investing more in schools because today’s students are tomorrow’s workforce. He’s for forming a unified plan with the city, the county, the university and the workforce center to develop post-educational opportunities — i.e. jobs — with an eye on mitigating the boom-and-bust fluctuations of a regional economy overly dependent on energy development. He’s for capitalizing on tourism, establishing robust enterprise zones and boosting manufacturing.

There’s some overlap here. Thurlow is an advocate of “good steady manufacturing jobs,” too. But the race really boils down to two distinct philosophies. Kennedy is a Democrat, but moderate enough not to pose a stark difference to Thurlow on a host of issues. His campaign is aimed not at rank-and-file Democrats, but independents and frustrated voters.

“The trend for the local power machine is to say ‘no’ and blame Denver,” Kennedy said. “At some point you have to own your responsbility to those issues, especially when we lag behind and when we’re not seeing economic growth like the Front Range.”

We agree. We think a change of philosophy would be good for House District 55 and that’s why we’re supporting Kennedy.

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The time is right to change the way we do things in Grand Junction and how we elect our representation. It is time to work for the interests of working families in Mesa County and ensure our government is working for you and not special interest groups or well funded business interests. 

If you want a Representative who will support a Living Wage, the right to organize in the workplace and full funding of K-12 education, empowering teachers to teach with no unfunded mandates, and ensure we are educating a generation of critical thinkers and not test takers, your choice is clear.

If you want a Representative who will work to protect Western Slope agricultural interests, ensure that gas and oil exploration and production continue while also protecting our air, land and water while attracting new and diverse high tech industries to Grand Junction, your choice is clear.

If you want a representative who will put the needs of working families above personal ambition, the ability to think creatively about solutions to problems that are not just red meat quotes like “Less regulations” or “Tax cuts for businesses” but sound policy that ensures economic growth for all, the choice is clear.

If you are someone who supports legislative action that recognizes your right to love and marry who you choose, to ensure protection of and unfettered access to your reproductive health options, your choice is clear.

The two words that drive my philosophy and ideals were learned during my service with the United States Marine Corps. 

Duty and Honor. 

I try to live these values each and every day and that is what I will do as your Representative in Denver. And as our message and policy initiatives become part of the debate from now until November, I promise to always have your back, to advocate for the interests of HD 55, and to always represent the people of Grand Junction and HD 55 with the dignity and respect you deserve.

I Need Your Support

I need your help to defeat the special interests and entrenched political machine that exists in our region. Your support is greatly appreciated. Together we can change for the better our current climate of partisanship and stagnation.

 

We CAN DO Better

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