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Andy Kerr holds campaign event in new district

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Democrat seeking seat that’s now up for grabs

By Emile Hallez

House District 26 Rep. Andy Kerr brought his Democratic state Senate campaign to South Jeffco for the first time Feb. 16, meeting with local residents in the recently redrawn district that is up for grabs in November.

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Though four candidates are registered in the race, including incumbent Tim Neville and House District 28 Rep. Jim Kerr, both Republicans, only Andy Kerr and Republican House District 22 Rep. Ken Summers live within the district’s new boundaries.

Kerr did not deliver a speech at “Appetizers with Andy” at Virgilio’s Pizzeria, and he spent the majority of the event mingling with residents and gathering input on local issues — a practice the Lakewood legislator said is standard in his regular community meetings.

The event was the second Kerr has held this year outside his current district. In December the Colorado Supreme Court approved new legislative maps favored by Democrats in the reapportionment process. The new district, which encompasses eastern Lakewood and central South Jeffco, excludes Neville, who was appointed by a Republican vacancy committee last year to replace former Sen. Mike Kopp.

“We get a lot of comments about jobs and the economy. … That’s obviously the No. 1 thing that people want to talk about,” Kerr said. “Everyone understands government doesn’t create jobs, but we can create an atmosphere that jobs can be created in.”

In running against Summers, who like Kerr is in his third term in the House, Kerr said he plans to run a clean campaign free of negative ads.

“Elections have gotten very negative, and this election gives us a chance to show voters it doesn’t have to be that way,” Kerr said. “I pledge that my campaign will not put one penny into any negative ads.”

Though Kerr said he and Summers have some idealistic differences, the two have had an amicable working relationship.

“Ken and I are on very good, friendly terms. We’ve co-sponsored legislation with each other before,” Kerr said. “We definitely have differences on issues and will be talking about those.”

For a race that will almost certainly be highly competitive, Kerr said he plans to appeal to a work-ethic mind-set common among Jefferson County natives. In the last election cycle, the geographic area that is now Senate District 22 had a voter base of 33.5 percent Democrats and 34.5 percent Republicans.

Through January, Kerr had raised more than $26,000 for his campaign. By contrast, Summers had raised more than $53,000.

“I get that Jeffco experience, that Jeffco attitude that everyone’s out to work, to do their part,” Kerr said. “We have a way of getting things done, not to rock the boat too much.”

 

Contact Emile Hallez at emile@evergreenco.comor 303-933-2233, ext. 22.