(You can choose to see and hear "About Me" by clicking on media page.)
My name is Bruce Kennedy. I am running for Secretary of State of Minnesota. The election is November 7, 2006. I have lived with my family in Roseville for 16 years. My wife, Linda, is a superstar special ed teacher, and I have two sons, Keith and Alex.
After graduating from law school, I started my own practice in 1978. After a few years, I became involved in the Bar Association. Specifically, I became interested in improving our laws. So I joined the Family Law Legislative Committee. I drafted some bills that passed which improved and streamlined the legal process. I gained some recognition in the bar and was selected Chair of the Family Law Section for a term. I also served on some task forces which recommended ways to improve the law. In the process, I gained some familiarity with the workings down at the Capitol and got to know some of the legislators.
In the year 2000, I was struck by how our electoral system was in some ways unfair to voters and to some candidates. And I happened to come across an article written by Tony Solgard of FairVote Minnesota which suggested another way to do things: Ranked Voting. So I volunteered to work on this issue. From 2001 up until today, I've been campaigning, drafting bills, and meeting with dozens of legislators and educating the community about ranked voting.
I hit the wall down there at the Capitol. I found that I was persuading people. But they were getting pressured behind closed doors to defeat our initiatives, and a lot of this pressure was coming from the Secretary of State. Now I believe that if you don't like the way things are, it's not enough to complain--you have to do something about it. And if you don't like the people who are in office, can you find somebody else who can do better? Or can you do better yourself? I can do better.
So what about me? What attributes do I have that fit the role of Secretary of State of Minnesota? I have one of those brains that has different compartments that operate independently of each other - kind of weird, I know. And I'm left handed. I won't be the gabbiest politician out there, although I do get along well with babies. But having those different compartments is what enables me to be objective and separate myself and be fair. And that's what we need in the Secretary of State's office right now.
I'm unique in that I am both practical and creative. So I'm open to new ideas--but not utopian. They have to be grounded in reality. And I believe that trait will hold me in good stead for this job, both in improving our elections and having a more efficient administration.