Bob Kennedy hopes to win the nod from Republican voters to run against incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan next year.
Kennedy, 29, is a chemical engineer and lives in Thornbury Township in Chester County with his wife, Krysten, and their Welsh Corgi, Maggie. A self-proclaimed “regular guy,” this is Kennedy’s first shot at politics. His lack of political experience makes him the right person for the job, he told Delaware Valley Journal.
“I quit my job to devote myself to campaigning full time,” Kennedy said, adding he hopes to shake up the status quo.
“My core motivation is to advance political reform,” Kennedy explained. “We need to fix our broken government. None of the politicians in Washington are serious about that. I believe that is the way I can most help improve the lives of others. So, that’s how I’m going to devote my time.”
With no experience in politics, Kennedy is just a regular guy with a passion for his community.
“I’m not a politician. I haven’t worked in politics. I’m a normal person, and it’s up to normal people to push to fix our broken government because the politicians have proven they won’t do it themselves,” he said.
Kennedy said Washington requires serious repair.
“I believe we have a government that is unable to fix our problems, that is gridlocked by partisanship, and is increasingly unresponsive to the needs of its people,” Kennedy said when asked to define the most significant issue.
“Around fixing the broken government, I want to enact term limits and stop gerrymandering.,” Kennedy said. “I want to end partisan gridlock and make every congressional election is competitive through voting reform. And I also want to grow the economy through low taxes and free markets. I want to stop reckless spending so our national debt doesn’t bankrupt our country. I want to protect people’s rights.”
When it comes to Houlahan, he believes she isn’t what the district, which encompasses all of Chester and part of Berks Counties, needs.
“My opponent, the incumbent Chrissy Houlahan votes straight down the line with the Democrats, straight down the line with the Biden, Pelosi agenda,” Kennedy said. “And this agenda is radical. Increasing the size and scope of our government, spending money, and adding to our debt recklessly, encroaching on the rights of the American people. It is totally inappropriate for Pennsylvania’s 6th district.”
More specifically, he opposes her votes on spending, her support for raising taxes, and increased regulations on the economy.
In recent years, Chester County has trended toward the Democrats. However, Kennedy denies there’s an actual majority of either party in Pennsylvania’s 6th District.
“Currently, neither party has a majority of voter registrations,” he claims. “The largest block is actually independent voters, and that just goes to show the disillusionment of a lot of people with our partisan politics. So, I think my unifying message can bring all types of people together in Chester County, both base Republicans, and the broader coalition.”
Statistics from the Pennsylvania Department of State show there are 217,447 registered Democrats in the district, 191,294 registered Republicans, and 88,428 listed as other.
Still, Kennedy sees a path forward. “I believe I have a policy platform and a campaign approach that will appeal to persuadable swing voters, to moderates, independents, minorities, and young people,” Kennedy said. “That’s how I win in this district. So, that means I’m taking untraditional positions for a Republican on political reform, on criminal justice, on immigration and my campaign strategy is to have a grassroots campaign that knocks on every possible door and doesn’t concede the vote of any constituency.”
It isn’t just Republicans that Kennedy needs to worry about. If he wins, he’ll need to work with the Democrats on the issues as well.
“Well, I think, especially the political reforms I’m advocating are non-partisan and benefit everyone, so that in particular. But I want to represent all my constituents, not just the ones who vote for me. So, I will listen to the concerns of all my constituents, because I’m fighting to protect all of their rights equally.”
“As a young conservative, I think I’m the right person to bridge that gap between older Republicans and the next generation,” Kennedy said. “I have the core conservative values. It’s just a matter of being able to communicate those values and persuade that broader coalition that is not already convinced.”
Ultimately, Kennedy says it’s the people who will bring about the most change, not the politicians.
“It is up to us normal people to fix our broken government because politicians like the way it is now. Incumbents get reelected 95 percent of the time, even though their approval rating is only about 20 percent. So, they’re not going to fix it. In our democracy, it’s up to the people to ultimately make the change they want to see.”