- By Jonathan Parker
- Published: March 2nd, 2011
Liberty graduate brings conservative values to Colorado Senate
Kevin Grantham’s journey to the Colorado State Senate began on a hog farm.
A 1992 Liberty University graduate, Grantham raised hogs on his family’s three-acre farm as a child.
His father took him to the bank for a loan and bought a boar, three sows and feed.
“After I turned 10, dad said, ‘Here’s what we need to do,’” Grantham said.
His older brothers learned the value of hard work the same way — raising and selling hogs into their teen years.
“You learn never to be ashamed of bringing home your own paycheck,” Grantham said.
‘Land of make believe’
Elected to the Colorado State Senate in November, Grantham rolls up his sleeves each day, applying the same work ethic to represent his constituents.
Grantham calls the state capitol “the land of make believe.”
“You are not dealing with people that live in reality,” Grantham said of legislators. “Coming from reality, it’s a bit of a shocker. I think the ‘every man’ aspect of my life, certainly helps so we can bring a voice of reason and sanity in certain circumstances.”
A conservative Republican, Grantham faces opposition from a Democratic controlled Senate and Democratic Governor. Republicans in Colorado snatched away control of the House by a narrow margin in November.
“It’s not a pleasant atmosphere to try and promote principles of freedom and liberty,” Grantham said. “We still press forward.”
Second amendment rights
The Democratic controlled Senate shot down Grantham’s bill aimed at extending the state’s “Make My Day Law,” to allow people to use deadly force to protect themselves at work.
The “Make My Day Law,” named after Clint Eastwood’s popular Dirty Harry character, gives citizens the benefit of the doubt when using deadly force to protect themselves at home, Grantham said.
“The Democrats don’t like the ‘Make My Day Laws,’” Grantham said.
A real estate appraiser, Grantham pushes for second amendment rights.
“Democrats have kept a tight fist on such legislation,” Grantham said.
Grantham co-sponsored a House bill to create a Vermont-style concealed carry law, allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons without a permit. The bill, which requires citizens to pass the state’s criminal background check to carry, passed the House and awaits Senate action.
The senator also proposed a bill to tighten prosecution for unregistered sex offenders, which is moving closer to becoming law, Grantham said.
Grantham said Colorado’s Republican Attorney General John Suthers teamed up with other GOP leaders to challenge last year’s health care reform legislation in the court.
“ObamaCare is the 800-pound gorilla in the room,” Grantham said, adding states will be forced to implement the bill. “It’s going to add to the bottom line of the state.”
Grantham calls for “repealing that monstrosity.”
“It will cost millions on millions to implement, money that we are already behind the eight ball on,” Grantham said.
Grantham pushes for lower taxes, more freedom and less government, he said.
“I am pressing on how Colorado taxpayers are overtaxed through fees,” Grantham said.
A Colorado native, Grantham represents nine counties in the rural Senate District 2.
Grantham lives in Denver during the week and travels two and a half hours home on the weekend.
“It’s doing the impossible trying to juggle these things,” Grantham said.
Grantham and his wife, Caroline, saved money to avoid doing appraisals during the Senate session.
“I’m not independently wealthy so we had to plan for that over the last couple of years,” Grantham, who has two children, Raychel and Justin, said.
He conducts Town Hall meetings through the district on the weekends, meeting citizens and answering questions.
“Having the life of the ordinary businessman, husband and father helps to just keep you grounded to know what you are here for — to help the people that got you here in the first place,” Grantham, a former Canon City councilman, said.
Grantham credits Liberty with encouraging political awareness and responsibility.
As a Liberty student, Grantham supported local and state campaigns through the College Republicans.
“The College Republicans that worked on my campaign here harkened back to my days in Lynchburg,” Grantham said.
Grantham recalls making phone calls, going door-to-door and stuffing envelopes.
“It was the kind of atmosphere that emboldens a person to not be afraid to take his faith into the political world,” Grantham said of Liberty.
Grantham praised Liberty for being involved in politics, adding faith and politics should not be separated.
“We shouldn’t be scared of being vocal and very active,” Grantham said.
Christians must seek to influence the culture and “make things better,” the senator said.
“If we are going to be salt in this world and light in this world, it needs to happen in many places,” Grantham said. “Having an influence in politics as a Christian has its purpose and we shouldn’t be ashamed to be involved in that arena.”
Grantham teaches Old Testament “almost exclusively” in his Sunday School class, crediting Liberty’s classes and professor Harvey Hartman with encouraging him to learn and teach.
“The influence and overall philosophy (of Liberty) helped me not just in the political realm, but in everything,” Grantham said.
‘No shame in doing this’
Grantham challenged college students to excel in hard work and faithfulness.
“There is a sense of entitlement that they have to go straight into the corporate world and into a desk making six figures,” Grantham said. “That’s not reality, not in this economy.”
Grantham processed onions, dug ditches and managed restaurants to earn a living.
“There is no shame in doing this,” Grantham said. “It’s not being ashamed to get a little dirty to earn a paycheck.”
Grantham looks forward to serving citizens for the next four years and eight if re-elected.
“I don’t know what God has in store for my wife and I in the political realm,” Grantham said. “I try not to give too much thought to future aspirations. It’s a big enough job doing this.”
Grantham beliefs in political activism.
“Even after this is said and done — in four years or eight years — it’s not going to change my believes in politics and the need to be active.”