COLUMBIA — With Rep. Chris Kelly's endorsement, Democrat Kip Kendrick announced his intent to run for the 45th District seat in the Missouri House of Representatives.
According to a news release announcing his candidacy, Kendrick has served as the president of the Benton-Stephens Neighborhood Association since 2007 and has worked for MU and Columbia College. He currently works for Boone County Family Resources as coordinator of support services, according to the release.
Kendrick said he decided to run for the position because political representation is important to Columbia.
"I love the district. I love the people," Kendrick said.
Kelly, who represents the 45th District, endorsed Kendrick in the news release. Kelly announced in October that he will not seek another term.
"I think that he’s got all the tools necessary to be a good state representative," Kelly said.
Kelly said Kendrick would be a good fit for the 45th District because of his understanding of its higher-education institutions and hospitals.
"He really gets our community," Kelly said. "That’s what’s most important to me — somebody who will work hard and understands the community."
Kelly ran unopposed in 2012. Prior to the implementation of term limits, he served nearly 18 years in the General Assembly, according to the Boone County election results website. Kendrick, who is a graduate of Columbia College, said Kelly’s endorsement was an honor to receive.
"He does a tremendous job of working with people on both sides of the aisle," Kendrick said. "I really plan on treating this next year as somewhat of an apprenticeship, to learn about the processes in Jefferson City and to learn how I can be effective as well. I have big shoes to fill, no doubt, but I appreciate his support, and I look forward to working with him.”
Kendrick said he plans to start campaigning in the next few weeks, with his initial platform geared toward helping higher education, public schools and health care.
"I think it’s important to stand up for these industries and stand up for Columbia and Boone County," Kendrick said.
Supervising editor is Stephanie Ebbs.