Arapahoe County Commission: District 5

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Arapahoe County District 5

Bill Holen

Incumbent Arapahoe County Commissioner Bill Holen is seeking his third and final term representing district five in central Aurora this November, though he’ll first have to fend off challenges from Republican Jim Parker and Libertarian Kathryn Martin. 

Since 2012, Holen, a Democrat, has served as the designated commissioner for the region which stretches from Glendale to the central portion of Aurora between East Mississippi Avenue to the south and East Colfax Avenue to the north.

If re-elected, Holen said he would pursue tempered growth strategies to ensure the county morphs within its means as it pushes a population of 700,000 people. 

“Increases in Arapahoe County’s population growth brings a need for affordable housing,” he wrote in a questionnaire issued by The Sentinel. “As a county commissioner, I support smart growth which matches the development and infrastructure of available water resources, transportation and other infrastructure resources that supports new development.”

Holen added that he would support once again asking county voters to consider a ballot question that would fund the construction of a new county jail. The local electorate roundly rejected a proposal to replace the jurisdiction’s again detention center last fall. 

Martin is a political newcomer with little political presence online. She did not respond to multiple requests for comment on her campaign by press deadline. She does not have a website on file with the Secretary of State’s office, and she has reported no contributions since she first filed for the race in late June of 2019. 

Parker was the lone Republican to enter the fray during primary contests earlier this year. He earned 4,132 votes in his unopposed bid.

Parker does not appear as a registered candidate in the race for district five on the Secretary of State’s research portal. However, a spokesperson for Arapahoe County confirmed that his name will appear on ballots this fall. 

Parker did not respond to an emailed request for comment on his campaign by press deadline. 

Holen had raised nearly $21,000 and spent about $12,000 as of his last campaign finance report filed with the Secretary of State in late July.

Meet Democrat Bill Holen

Democrat Bill Holen is a familiar face in Colorado’s Democratic political scene. He formerly worked as a consistent services representative for Rep. Ed Perlmutter and was a former staffer for former U.S. Sen. Gary Hart. He has served as a commissioner in Arapahoe County since 2012 and is now seeking his third and final term. He is married to former Aurora City Councilwoman Debi Hunter Holen.

Bill Holen policy questions

What are the biggest challenges Arapahoe County faces in the next 10 years?

The challenge facing Arapahoe County is the increasing costs to the county's budget and the subsequent decreasing tax revenues coming into the county's coffers.

What is your philosophy on how the county should approach growth, especially as Arapahoe County is expected to surpass 700,000 residents by 2025?

I serve as a board member on the Aurora Economic Development Council, the mission is to bring new well-paying businesses to the Arapahoe County region. Increases in Arapahoe County's population growth brings a need for affordable housing.  As a county commissioner, I support smart growth which matches the development and infrastructure of available water resources, transportation and other infrastructure resources that supports new development.

Do you support pursuing another ballot measure sometime in the next four years to either replace or repair the current Arapahoe County Detention Facility?

Yes

Briefly describe your professional background, including areas of expertise, roles and responsibilities.

My understanding of the workings of federal, state and local governments provides me a unique opportunity to represent my constituents.

What makes you uniquely qualified for this seat?

Solving the county's financial problems to ensure the county does not have to cut county services.

The lighter side of Bill Holen

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? 

Solve the county's financial problems to ensure the county does not have to cut county services.

What movie will you watch again no matter how many times you’ve seen it?

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.

What talent do you have that most people don’t know about?

I’m a commercial, multi-engine pilot.

If you wrote a memoir, what would you call it?

Tenacity:  It Matters!

What’s your favorite curbside guilty pleasure?

Tacos

What was the last book you read?

Sea Stories by Admiral William H. McRaven

Have you found any unexpected upsides to wearing a mask during the pandemic?

Yes, the laughs I receive when I wear my mask, it reads "Damn You Corona."

What’s your favorite family tradition?

My favorite family tradition is enjoying a slice of prime rib on Christmas Eve, about the only time we partake in such a delicacy.

If you had a boat, what would you name it?

Debi Jean

If you could only listen to one song forever, what would it be?

Layla, by Eric Clapton

Which reality television show do you think you’d be best at?

Black List

What do you think needs to be invented more than anything?

A drug that reduces hate and replaces that emotion with love.

Meet Jim Parker

Republican Jim Parker did not respond and the Sentinel was unable to confirm any biographical information