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Each election year, KBIA sits down with local candidates to hear what they have to say on their own terms. Some of these candidates you might see on TV every day. Others might be familiar by name only, if that. But KBIA interviews them all so that you can be informed when you go to the polls in November.

Candidate Conversations: Kip Kendrick

Two speech bubbles on a purple background. There is a brown and gold podium in front of the speech bubbles with a spotlight on it. At the top of the image, it says "candidate conversations" in all-caps.
Ellie Lin

Kip Kendrick is the Democratic candidate running for Boone County presiding commissioner against Republican Connie Leopard.

Melanie Oliva: What motivated you to run for this office?

Kip Kendrick: A number of different things, but first and foremost, public service. I absolutely love public service, have always been drawn to it. You know, when I moved to Boone County and Columbia, near for coming on 20 years, I guess about a little over 18 years. And one of the first things I did in Columbia was move to the Benton-Stephens area, join the neighborhood association quickly, became neighbors association president and, you know, just kind of built from, you know, my, my public service in the community and across Boone County from there. Served in the Missouri House of Representatives, worked the last couple of years over in the Missouri Senate, also, you know, have served on the Environment Energy Commission at the city level. You know, just a number of different things have kind of led me down this path, you know, this is a, it's a unique opportunity to get back at the local level, local form of government where the rubber really meets the road, where people interact with government the most and put my skills to the best use possible.

Melanie Oliva: I was checking out your website and on your website, you describe your leadership style, by quote, "Listening, learning, then leading." What does that look for you once you are elected into this office?

Kip Kendrick: Right, that's, you know, it's, it took me a while to find that, and I think George Washington is credited with that form of leadership style. Although, I doubt it was him necessarily that came up with it, but it really is a reflection of who I am as a person. There are some downsides that come with that style of leadership that I've had to address over the years. But really, I never pretend to be the smartest person in the room. I always wanted to surround myself with smart people and people with diverse opinions and divergent viewpoints. And if I'm in a room where everyone is agreeing with me or with the team, then I'm going to leave that room and I'm going to go find someone who is dissenting. Right, who, I want to find that dissenting voice because that's always so important. Having, you know, listening to a broad range of people with different life experiences, and trying to incrementally move things forward, move issues forward, move policy forward. And if I can't find dissenting viewpoints, how am I supposed to know? How am I supposed to feel confident in my decision? And how am I supposed to know potential unintended consequences of decisions that I'm making as a leader?

Melanie Oliva: What makes you the best candidate for this job?

Kip Kendrick: Running for office is always weird, right, Because you—I always want to be humble and want to—I don't want to be seen to having a big ego but, you know, I honestly believe with all my heart that I'm the right fit at the right time for this role. I think that I know that I represent kind of that next generation of experienced leadership here locally. You know, I'm younger. I'm 41. I feel like I'm in the height of my career; I'm hungry. I'm really I'm eager to get out there and make a difference.

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