The Deseret News is reporting that a 30-year-old lab technician, Ryan J. Kelly, has announced his intent to run against Utah's incumbent Democratic 2nd District Congressman Jim Matheson as an independent. Along with another independent candidate Dave Glissmeyer, he becomes the second publicly-announced challenger for Matheson's seat, although Republican Casey Owen Anderson is also running against Matheson. Photos of Kelly available HERE.
Possibly the first thing to do is to provide the correct URL for Kelly's official campaign website, since the Deseret News hosed it up (if you don't include the www, it redirects to a parked domain):
Kelly also has a personal blog which he updates regularly:
Because Kelly's campaign is still young, his positions on the issues have not completely evolved. He seems interested in replacing our existing tax system with a flat tax, is concerned about the abuse of illegal immigrants, prefers that our military not be used as an international police force, and is a bit of a greenie on the environment, touting alternative energy, although he's not an environmental extremist promoting the cap-and-trade scam.
But what's clearly nearest and dearest to Kelly's heart is government reform, in particular a scheme called Bring Home Our Politicians. Kelly advocates that all elected Federal representatives should work out of their respective state capitals and telecommute instead of assembling in Washington D.C. He also proposes that all elected state representatives should work out of their respective city halls/county courthouses and telecommute instead of assembling at their state capitols. Justification for the changes include cost effectiveness, accountability, accessibility, and security; not only would it cost less for lawmakers to telecommute, but it would be easier to hold them accountable, they would remain in more direct contact with their constituencies, and would prevent the possibility of a terrorist attack wiping out most of Congress or a state legislature in one fell swoop. A short video describing the scheme is embedded below:
If elected, Ryan Kelly pledges to do the following:
-- Listen to the people I represent
-- Communicate your ideas to Congress
-- Improve communication between myself and my voters
-- Encourage public participation in developing legislation and determining how I will vote
-- Ensure that you get all the information to help me decide what action we take as a district
-- Work towards getting the rest of Utah, and eventually our entire nation involved with their government again
-- Convince the other members of Congress that we have a responsibility to our voters to treat them with respect and listen to their concerns
Ryan Kelly was born on September 3rd, 1979 in Salt Lake City. He grew up in Sandy and lived there for the first 26 years of his life, primarily attending and graduating from The Waterford School in Sandy in 1997. He then attended Westminster College of Salt Lake City where he earned a Bachelors of Science in Biology in 2001. He has worked as a document scanner, custodian, customer service rep for AOL, and is currently employed as a Medical Laboratory Technologist by ARUP Laboratories. He is married with one child.
Analysis: While Ryan Kelly has already had one cordial meeting with fellow independent candidate Dave Glissmeyer, at some point the question may arise as to whether one should drop out and support the other, since two independents in the same race might carve into each other's core constituencies. It will be interesting to see whether Kelly or Glissmeyer proves the stronger. At this point, it appears Glissmeyer has an edge. But at the very least, this campaign will provide Kelly with some valuable experience, as well as to promote the Bring Home Our Politicians initiative.