Kenneth Holden decided the time was right to step away – again – from the job of District 1 commissioner on the west side of Garvin County.
Holden made it official as his last day in office came on Tuesday, while his first deputy, Cheri Davis, is now expected to step in on interim basis until a replacement is found.
That replacement could come fairly soon as Holden signed the paperwork Monday formerly requesting Gov. Kevin Stitt to call for a special election on April 6.
Holden, who is now 76 years old and affectionately known as “Killer,” said the time was right for him to step away from the job.
“When I came back I was thinking about two years,” Holden said about his own expectations when he returned to the job for a second time in 2018.
“I've been here over 30 years. It's time to get out and let someone else get a chance to do the job.”
Holden was first elected to the District 1 office in 1990. He earned his sixth term in office back in July 2010 before leaving for retirement in 2012.
His replacement was Stan Spivey, who started his tenure in 2012 and had filed his intention in the spring of 2018 to run for another term. A few months later Spivey passed away after a long battle with cancer.
After Spivey's passing in August 2018 the Garvin County Democratic Party reached out and convinced Holden to step in as the alternate candidate running for the office. Holden did win the race that November.
During a weekly commissioners' meeting Monday there was plenty of praise to go around for Holden.
“I want to say a big thank you to Mr. Holden for coming back and being here,” said District 2 Commissioner Gary Ayres.
“It's been an honor,” said District 3 Commissioner Mike Gollihare.
“Personally I want to say what an honor it's been to serve with you,” said Assistant District Attorney Carol Dillingham.
A filing period for anyone interested in running for the now open District 1 commissioner's job will be Monday through Wednesday, Feb. 15-17.
A special election is planned for April 6, while a runoff election if needed will be May 11.