In September 2010, John Kinkaid traveled to Denver to testify against an action he felt could jeopardize numerous local jobs.
Kinkaid spoke out against Xcel Energy’s plans to comply with Colorado House Bill 10-1365 in hopes of helping his son, Caleb, keep his job at Twentymile Coal Co.
The feeling he had at the time is similar to one he has now.
Kinkaid said he needs to be involved in the political process for the betterment of Northwest Colorado, and that spurred him to announce Friday his intention to run for Moffat County Commission next year.
“This is the right time in my life to do this,” he said. “I have been interested in politics my entire adult life, but I have never acted upon it as far as running for office.”
Kinkaid said he would run in 2012 for the commission District 1 seat currently held by incumbent Tom Gray, who is term limited.
Kinkaid said he is a registered Republican, but might run unaffiliated for the position.
Kinkaid, 57, has lived in Craig since 1977 and is a control room operator at Tri-State Generation & Transmission’s Craig Station. He has served on The Memorial Hospital Board for about a year and previously served a four-year term on the Moffat County School Board.
Kinkaid said he started to consider a bid for county commission about two months ago. He also considered running for Craig City Council or mayor.
If elected, Kinkaid said he would be a strong advocate for the economy and jobs in the county.
“I am so active with the coal mine issues, the coal industry issues and I am also very interested in the energy sector as a whole,” he said. “That would include electricity, oil and natural gas — that is just such a big part of our local economy here.”
There are simply too many regulations in government, he said.
“I know as a county commissioner there probably wouldn’t be too much I could do about that,” he said. “But, anything we can do to make Moffat County business friendly, energy sector friendly and (I’ll) just work relentlessly to try to promote our area for energy development and tourism.”
Kinkaid said he wanted to start examining how government works on the county and state levels during the next two years. He said he traveled Friday to Denver to attend a campaign strategy seminar.
“I know that the days ahead are going to be tough economically,” he said. “We face some real challenges and I’m ready for the next two years running as a candidate, but also to be an advocate and take the next two years to be very vocal in promoting more than just my candidacy — it’s to promote Moffat County.”
Although it is Kinkaid’s first time running for such public office, he said his family is familiar with the political arena.
He said his grandfather was a county commissioner in the 1960s in Tulsa County, Okla., and his father, Don, ran for the U.S. Senate in Oklahoma in the 1960s and also ran for Moffat County Commission in the late 1980s.
“To be honest, I am just a middle class guy who works for a living and I don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on a campaign,” he said.
But, his message is simple, he said.
“I am going to fight tooth and nail for our economy and jobs in Moffat County,” he said.