Joe O’Dea was completing his undergraduate studies. Not quite a full semester’s worth of classes remained for him to finish.
O’Dea was a standout student who reached the dean’s list his first semester and was given a scholarship that helped pay for part of his tuition for the remainder of his time at Colorado State University studying construction management.
But he was eager to get to work.
O’Dea told Fox News, “I still had, I believe, six or seven credits left.” Like “letter writing” and “psychology,” they were “filler courses.”
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And they needed a whole semester’s worth of tuition, which was, I believe, around 2,500 dollars at the time, he added. My scholarship paid for well over half of that.
O’Dea had previously interrupted his study to work as a union carpenter for a period of time after high school.
O’Dea said Fox News, “I’ve been forced to labor my whole life.” “Nothing’s been offered to me,” he said.
But when his future wife’s love interest enrolled at Colorado State, he accompanied her to Fort Collins and began working on his own degree. He ultimately came to the conclusion that the final semester was not worthwhile.
O’Dea claimed, “I dropped out because I didn’t want to pay for another semester’s tuition.” “I had to get to work,” you said.
He had already been wed to Celeste at that point. They established a construction company together, operating out of their basement.
Now, more than 30 years later, O’Dea has a chance to oust Colorado’s senior senator, Michael Bennet, who has been in office for 13 years. While down in the polls, the Republican candidate is nonetheless competitive. O’Dea was compared by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to a truck driver who ousted the leader of the state Senate of New Jersey last year.
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O’Dea said Fox News, “I understand the struggle of working Americans and how difficult it is to sort of make things add up at the kitchen table.” He has frequently drawn on his humble upbringing to connect with Colorado voters as inflation surges to 40-year highs.
Americans are stressed out and feeling quite insecure right now, O’Dea added. That is why Colorado would benefit greatly from my running for office.
He continued, “We need some new policies in place that will help working Americans.” So that’s why I’m participating in this race,
The senator’s campaign for Bennet declined to be available for an interview and had no comments for this article.
Democrat Bennet questioned O’Dea’s level of familiarity with working class Coloradans in August.
This man, according to Bennet said on MSNBC , “really uploaded a picture of him and his wife riding their horses to buy sushi in his posh neighborhood on Facebook.”
O’Dea then retorted that he had grown up riding horses.
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“WORK DEEPLY EVERY DAY.” O’Dea grew up in southeast Denver, where much of the land was then used for farming and raising cattle.
The fourth-generation Coloradan claimed that as the adopted son of a police officer, he was taught to appreciate law enforcement, and that this upbringing now informs his political stances on this subject.
As a police officer’s son, O’Dea stated, “you worry all the time about upsetting your dad because you know if you do something wrong, the wrath will follow you.” He also instilled in us a respect for the rule of law.
O’Dea remarked, “I believe the second thing that being up in a police family really gives you an understanding of is how perilous that work is.” When I was five or six years old, I can recall wondering whether your dad would return from work as I went to sleep.
However, his father also emphasized the value of education. O’Dea’s parents sent him to an all-boys Catholic school when his grades began to slip.
O’Dea commenced an apprenticeship in carpentry during his junior year. He spent several years working as a union carpenter before enrolling in college, and by the time he finished, he was a journeyman.
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O’Dea had intended to finish college when he left it early.
I recently made the decision, “You know what? Later, I can make it up to you. Later, I’ll attend to it,’ O’Dea promised. Later never occurred,
His and his wife’s basement-based building business immediately prospered.
According to O’Dea, who spoke to Fox News, “you don’t have time to produce a paper or those kinds of things when you’re working 8,000 hours a week on your business.”
From then, O’Dea started from scratch and created his business. Before leaving the house, he claimed he would get up at 4 a.m. to handle payroll and pay bills.
According to O’Dea, who spoke to Fox News, “I was usually on the job site by 6 a.m. and I was there ’til seven at night.” “When I get home, I might have time for a quick dinner, a hello to my wife, and then I’ll go to bed at 9:30 or 10:00 and get up and do it again.”
Because we couldn’t afford mechanics, he added, “I can recall working on changing an engine out of a loader or off of a vehicle on multiple Sundays. “My partner and I completed it on our own.”
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More than 300 Coloradans are currently employed by O’Dea’s business, Concrete Express. He claimed to have experienced “all aspects of the building sector” and to have weathered three economic downturns.
O’Dea said Fox News, “You’ve got to be tough enough to weather the storm.”
The Republican extols his commercial achievements in an effort to appeal to Colorado voters. Although the article also adds that the company has won honors for safety, the Denver Business Journal revealed earlier this month that Concrete Express had been fined $135,000 for 28 infractions of federal safety rules since its foundation in 1988.
O’Dea responded to the Journal by saying, “I think everybody who had been involved in a business understands it because they’ve been a victim of it.” I have literally hundreds of workers who have worked and retired from this location. I’ll just stand by that statement.
O’Dea claimed that his experience in business will help him in the Senate.
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According to O’Dea, “it gives me a sizable advantage over Sen. Bennett.” “I have experience working hard every day.”
Bennet has devoted a significant portion of his career to politics. He is the son of a lifelong Democratic operative. But for a while, he worked at Anschutz Investment Company as managing director.
I am familiar with how to bargain with clients—Democrats and Republicans—to achieve outstanding results for projects that we have been in charge of, O’Dea remarked. I am uniquely suited to perform the duties of a U.S. senator because of my skill set,
The accompanying film was created with help from Ramiro Vargas.