Adams County District 1
Adams County’s 1st commissioner district mostly includes Thornton and Northglenn. On Election Day, incumbent and longtime north metroplex lawmaker Eva Henry, a Democrat, will attempt to defend the seat from Alex “Skinny” Winkler, a Republican and former state lawmaker.
This commissioner district is rapidly growing. According to Henry, the Denver Regional Council of Governments has projected Adams County will grow the fastest of any Colorado county in the next two decades.
Henry has represented this district since 2012 and fended off challengers in the eight years since.
She describes herself as a social justice advocate. Henry championed a move to consolidate all human services agencies in one building, the Pete Mirelez Human Services Center. She has led county commission decisions to curb oil and gas development on county lands over concerns about health and safety and climate change.
Oil and gas production in Adams County increased dramatically over the last two years, although market constraints posed by the pandemic-induced recession have cut production levels in 2020.
“It doesn’t matter if you are pro drilling or anti drilling, industrial uses do not belong 500 feet from a child’s bedroom,” she told the Sentinel, referring to the current state rule preventing drilling within 500 feet from a home.
State rule makers are in the process of establishing 2,000-foot buffer zones between homes and oil drilling.
Henry’s government philosophy is informed by her own experience as a single mother strapped for cash.
“I raised my children as a struggling single mother who was one paycheck away from losing her home and at times I lost that paycheck,” she says. “I truly understand what a lot of people in Adams County are going through during these hard economic times.”
As a commissioner, Henry has overseen the expansion of the county’s safety net during the pandemic. In April, the county received $90 million in federal dollars through the CARES Act. Some of that money flowed into the City of Aurora. The county also set up its own short-term mortgage and rent assistance programs.
Henry’s challenger is Alexander “Skinny” Winkler, a small business owner and former state representative. Winkler operates SSS Productions, a company providing lighting, staging and sound for music concerts.
A Republican, Winkler was appointed to represent House District 34 in the Colorado General Assembly after its former lawmaker, Democrat Steve Lebsock, resigned over sexual misconduct allegations and quickly switched parties, allowing for a Republican to be appointed to the seat. Winkler was defeated in a 2019 election bid to keep the seat.
Winkler did not respond to the Sentinel’s request for policy plans.
During his short stint in the legislature, Winkler co-sponsored only one proposal. The bill would have prevented drivers from placing a sign on their vehicle absolving them from liability if something fell out.
To date, Winkler hasn’t raised any money for his re-election bid. Meanwhile, Henry has accepted $80,000 in donations. As of July 30, the most recent campaign finance report she’s filed, almost $500 of those dollars came from fellow Adams County Commissioner Emma Pinter.
Eva Henry grew up in Adams County. A Democratic incumbent in Adams County’s 1st commissioner district, Henry says her values were informed by her own struggle as a single mother. Henry has served on a slew of metro Denver boards and commissions, including the Adams County Housing Authority and Denver Regional Council of Governments. In 2007, Henry won a seat on the Thornton city council. She was re-elected in 2011. In 2012, Henry was elected to represent her current seat on the Adams County Board of County Commissioners. Prior to her time in government, Henry worked as a loan officer for White Crown Federal Credit Union between 1998 and 2007, according to her LinkedIn page. She then became a community coordinator for the Service Employees International Union, a labor organization, and a coordinator with the Colorado Progressive Coalition.
What are the biggest challenges Adams County faces in the next 10 years?
The Denver Regional Council of Governments projects Adams County to be the fastest-growing county in the State over the next 20 years, both in population and employment. The challenge for the county is to make sure we continue to meet the needs of a growing county.
What is your philosophy in how the county should approach local regulation of oil and gas development?
It doesn’t matter if you are pro drilling or anti drilling, industrial uses do not belong 500 feet from a child’s bedroom.
What makes you uniquely qualified for this seat?
I raised my children as a struggling single mother who was one paycheck away from losing her home and at times I lost that paycheck. I truly understand what a lot of people in Adams County are going through during these hard economic times. My unique experiences bring a different perspective to the Board.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
What movie will you watch again no matter how many times you’ve seen it?
The Big Chill
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A woman with a career
What talent do you have that most people don’t know about?
If you wrote a memoir, what would you call it?
Hold Your Head Up
What’s your favorite curbside guilty pleasure?
What was the last book you read?
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
Have you found any unexpected upsides to wearing a facemask during the pandemic?
It keeps me warm when it’s cold in the room.
What’s your favorite family tradition?
Family gathering to celebrate the Fourth of July
If you had a boat, what would you name it?
If you could only listen to one song forever, what would it be?
Hold Your Head Up by Argent
Which reality television show do you think you’d be best at?
Survivor (It’s like politics)
What do you think needs to be invented more than anything?
Republican Alexander “Skinny” Winkler studied economics at the University of Colorado after growing up in Michigan. Since 2006, Winkler has owned and operated SSS Productions, a company providing lighting, staging and sound for musical concerns. Previously he worked for Red Bull in event production, according to his LinkedIn profile. A Republican, Winkler was appointed to represent House District 34 in the Colorado General Assembly after its former lawmaker, Democrat Steve Lebsock, resigned over sexual misconduct allegations. Winkler was defeated in a 2019 election bid to keep the seat.
Alex 'Skinny' Winkler did not respond
Alex 'Skinny' Winkler did not respond