Kenney pledges to use state experience to benefit District 1

January 08, 2014
LITTLETON — Joe Kenney, a Wakefield Republican, stopped by the Courier on Monday. He is one of the three candidates in this month's primary for the District 1 Executive Council seat. The winner will take on Democrat Michael Cryans to fill the seat Ray Burton occupied for over three decades.

Kenney spent 14 years in the state legislature, including six years as a Senator. He knew and worked with both Burton and Gov. Maggie Hassan, who spent four years in the Senate with Kenney.

"I can hit the ground running because of my experience with state government," Kenney said. He suggested his time working on transportation and economic development in the state house provides important knowledge to successfully serve District 1.

Kenney stressed his opposition to Northern Pass. He believes the tall electric transmission towers would be an affront to the state's traditions. Kenney pledged to "stop special interests from taking over the northern part of the state."

While in Littleton, Kenney had a "Cup of Joe" event at The Coffee Pot. The visits allow him to gain citizens' perspectives. He would continue the events as councilor.

Meeting with the public is vital for a councilor, Kenney said. He said the five members on the council serve an important role that ensures "people know they have access to state government."

Kenney believes Burton "laid down the roadmap for constituent service." Kenney has been inspired by Burton's drive to assist people. "The public will have access to me," Kenney promised.

Expanding business opportunities is vital, Kenney believes. He suggests a councilor must "facilitate economic development" for constituents. This is especially important for the North Country, Kenney added, because the region "has its own economy."

Kenney served a term as selectman in his hometown of Wakefield. He was elected to the legislature at the end of his term as selectman. He noted his status as "a local control fanatic," which he believes is true to a central New Hampshire tradition.

Bipartisanship is important in the state, Kenney said. He would aim for positive relationships with all officials, "in the spirit of Ray Burton." Nonetheless, Kenney added, his ultimate responsibility would be "to look out for the best interests of District 1."

Kenney was the Republican nominee for governor in 2008. He said his slogan during that campaign, "Let's Keep New Hampshire New Hampshire," remains central to his philosophy of government.

Kenney is a proud veteran of the Marine Corps. Starting in 1980, Kenney worked his way up from private to Lt. Colonel. In total, he spent 34 years on either active duty or the reserves. Kenney said helping veterans navigate state government would be a big goal as Executive Councilor.

Kenney's campaign website is

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