Dr. James F. Holden-Rhodes took the oath of office to assume the District 1 seat on the Sandoval County Commission on Thursday, September 7, 2017. He then immediately participated in his first commission meeting.
That marked the first time the commission has operated with a full complement of members since former Commissioner James Dominguez resigned from the board in mid-June. Governor Susana Martinez announced Holden-Rhodes' appointment to the seat on Monday, August 28, 2017.
With his wife Karen holding the bible on which he rested his left hand, Holden-Rhodes raised his right hand and took the oath administered by the Honorable Louis P. McDonald, chief judge of Sandoval County District Court.
In brief opening remarks, Commission Chairman Don Chapman, who represents the District 3, said Holden-Rhodes has indicated that economic development, law enforcement and education would be his top priorities as a commissioner.
The new commissioner himself then said this post is a natural fit for him because “taking any opportunity to serve has been ingrained in me from day one.”
That's evident in Holden-Rhodes' background, which includes 31 years of combined service in the U.S. Army and Marine Corp. He retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and has continued to teach and mentor both current military members and young people aspiring to military careers through various schools and organizations.
Holden-Rhodes holds a Master’s of Public Administration degree and a Ph.D. in public policy from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
He and his wife have lived in the Placitas, where they raised two children, since the 1970s. He said Placitas fit the description of a “nice quiet place to settle down” that he dreamed of during a particularly tense battle as a Marine.
For at least the next 16 months, Holden-Rhodes will put his knowledge and experience to use on behalf of the residents of Sandoval County, particularly those in District 1.
Because he was appointed to complete the term of a commissioner who resigned from the seat, Holden-Rhodes will serve as District 1 Commissioner until the next election, which is scheduled for November 2018. He will be eligible to run for a full term during that election.