Menconi running for U.S. House: Former county commissioner, SOS Outreach founder seeks Tipton’s seat | VailDaily.com

Menconi running for U.S. House: Former county commissioner, SOS Outreach founder seeks Tipton’s seat

Arn Menconi is running for the U.S. House of Representatives for the 3rd Congressional District, covering most of Western Colorado. Menconi, here at March for Our Lives rally in Grand Junction, is a former Eagle County commissioner and founded SOS Outreach.

EDWARDS — Arn Menconi is nothing like conventional, and his campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives won't be, either.

Menconi, a Democrat, is running for Congressional District 3, encompassing 29 counties and most of Western Colorado. Republican Scott Tipton has held the seat for seven years.

"The other two Democrats are running centrist, neo-liberal, corporate-supporting campaigns," Menconi said. "That does not represent what people want. People want common-sense gun legislation."

He was not planning to run, but when a shooter gunned down 17 people in Florida, and young people changed the national conversation about gun laws, he felt they needed federal support.

"They moved my heart. They're moving the conversation as never before," he said.

Menconi said the other two major Democratic candidates — Glenwood Springs Attorney Karl Hanlon and former state representative Diane Mitsch Bush — have been "half hearted" in their support.

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"When I saw that the two Democrats are running a typical Blue Dog race — running to the center — I thought this was unconscionable. They're running the same campaign people ran 20 years ago," Menconi said.

All of the Democratic governor candidates have come out with policies banning assault weapons, something for which he takes a little bit of credit.

"I called them out. You turn lights on and make the cockroaches run," Menconi said.

Menconi founded SOS Outreach and served two full terms as an Eagle County commissioner, where he said he studied government from the ground up.

"I know how to do this. I ran a national nonprofit. What these kids are doing is exactly what I wanted SOS kids to do. The only thing people are focused on in this ADHD news cycle is 17-year-olds calling crap," he said.

Three-pronged principles

Menconi has been pounding the pavement for a month and has collected more than 1,500 signatures, plenty to get on the ballot for the June 26 primary. He said he wants to accomplish three things:

• Ban assault weapons

• Ban fracking

• Impeach President Donald Trump.

"Those are the things you are not supposed to say because they are litmus tests," Menconi said.

As for impeaching the president, he said, "If an impeachment has not begun in January when I take office, I would be shocked."

Always outspoken

Menconi is an outspoken activist, protesting federal policies that he said have unfairly profited the "military/industrial/security complex" at the expense of citizens — something President Dwight Eisenhower also warned against, he reminded listeners.

He worked with America's most famous whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg, on Ellsberg's latest book, "The Doomsday Machine." He said he spent hours each day trying to bring awareness to the $8 trillion spent in America's wars in the Middle East, to try to save lives.

"I have been arrested four times in the last three years in Washington, D.C., and New York fighting endless wars for profit," he said.

It doesn't matter if they're in Grand Junction or Pueblo, people cannot find work. Wages are stagnant while housing and medical costs have skyrocketed, he said.

"I don't understand why people aren't revolting," he said.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

For information

Arn Menconi’s website is arnmenconi.com.