Grant Doherty doesn’t think that the two major political parties are representing the people, so he’s doing something about it.
Doherty, 27, announced Monday night at the University of Northern Colorado that he’s running as an unaffiliated candidate for the 4th Congressional District seat, currently held by second-term Republican Cory Gardner, who lives in Yuma. Doherty joins Democratic candidate Vic Meyers of Trinidad in the congressional race against Gardner in November 2014.
Doherty of Lochbuie said someone needs to represent the people and not a party.
“I feel that both parties are not representing the people very well,” said Doherty, who originally registered as a Democrat when he was 18. “I think people are getting pretty fed up with the political system, and I think it’s on both sides. I think everybody is getting pretty tired at how things are being done in Washington. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that there’s such a large backing in party politics.”
With the recent federal government shutdown, Doherty said that showed that there are major inefficiencies in Washington.
“The two sides are unable to come together and actually come to an agreement,” Doherty said. “There is a massive divide between the two parties. My strategy is to bring both sides together.”
Doherty said he doesn’t want to be influenced by the D or the R behind his name when he’s voting on an issue.
“I want to vote how I feel the constituents want me to vote, or what I feel is best for our district,” Doherty said. “I just think we’ve gone away from compromise. I don’t represent a party at all. I represent the people of the 4th Congressional District.”
Doherty, who is employed as a structural engineer in Lakewood, said rural areas need to be better represented and the U.S. needs a better education system.
“You look at poverty lines, illiteracy, gang issues, drug issues ... there’s definitely some of that in the 4th Congressional District,” Doherty said. “The more educated people are, the less likely they’re going to be on the welfare system. I think education is really key for a lot of different things.”
Doherty said the farm bill and water rights are critical issues in the district.
As far as immigration reform, Doherty said: “I definitely think that people should be allowed to come to the United States. There definitely needs to be a legal route that gets them there.”
As for his young age to be running for Congress — he’ll turn 28 in January — Doherty said that shouldn’t be a factor and that he’s a critical thinker thanks to his engineering background.
“I meet the constitutional requirements of being 25,” Doherty said. “Not everybody has the ability to kind of step back and critically think about what will work best for everybody. I think my background with engineering can help with that.”