COLUMBIA, Mo. — Kip Kendrick, a support coordinator at Boone County Family Resources and former President of the Benton-Stephens Neighborhood Association has announced he will be running for the 45 district House seat in 2014.
The seat is currently held by longtime Democratic Rep. Chris Kelly, who has endorsed Kendrick as his successor and announced a few weeks ago that he would not seek a final term in the seat, as redistricting would require him to move.
Kelly, who has become a staple of Missouri politics after more than 16 years as a legislator as well as spending time as a circuit court judge, says Kendrick was “an outstanding, energetic and dedicated young man.”
“It is truly an honor to have [Rep. Kelly’s] support,” Kendrick says. “He’s done great things for Columbia, for Boone County and for Missouri and I hope I can fill those shoes.”
Kendrick told The Missouri Times he was seeking the office because state government was critical to the largest institutions in Columbia.
“Whether it’s our hospitals or our colleges and universities, we have some institutions in this district and this county that rely heavily on what the state government does or doesn’t do,” Kendrick says. “It’s vital that someone champion those institutions and help them flourish.”
Kendrick doesn’t consider himself a radical and says he’s happy to follow the example of Kelly and work with members of both parties. Like some of his fellow Democrats, Kendrick fully supports the second amendment, but says the state “shouldn’t be in the business of nullifying any federal laws.”
On labor issues, he says he has “a lot to learn,” and was hoping to use the next legislative session as an “apprenticeship,” under Kelly to learn the ropes. He plans to begin knocking on doors and meeting with community leaders as early as next week.
“I grew up in a Republican household, but I’m always pleasantly surprised with how much common ground we have on the issues,” Kendrick says. “It shouldn’t be about Republicans v Democrats, but it should be about finding shared values and common ground and working toward what is best for the state.”
Collin Reischman was the Managing Editor for The Missouri Times, and a graduate of Webster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.