Pace seeks third, final term as Adams County Commissioner

By Kevin Denke
Posted 10/6/10

   BRIGHTON — Don’t judge a Democrat by its cover.

    “I’m a Democratic but I’m basically very centrist,” Adams County Commissioner …

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Pace seeks third, final term as Adams County Commissioner


   BRIGHTON — Don’t judge a Democrat by its cover.
    “I’m a Democratic but I’m basically very centrist,” Adams County Commissioner Larry Pace said. “I don’t know if I’m in a class by myself as a true “blue dog” (conservative democrat) but I fit in that group.
    “We’re Adams County Democrats, we’re not your average, liberal democrats,” he added.

    Pace, a 71-year-old, gun owning, fiscal conservative, said he spent his past four years on the commission as if he had nothing to lose. Voters approved a term-limit extension last fall that enabled Pace to seek a third and final term. Now he wants to take the same mentality into this final term.
    A former educator, Pace has a lengthy list of accomplishments he is proud of from his time on the commission.
    “I’ve got a resume that I’m proud of that you cannot believe,” Pace said.
    Among the highlights of the past four years, he credits the commission for saving 200 jobs by stopping RTD from closing the Owens Corning shingle plant at 52 Avenue and Fox Street. He credits the commission’s work with Adams County Economic Development to bring more than 12,000 new jobs to the county. He is proud the county finished the extension of 120th Avenue over the South Platte River and secured the money for the Pecos Street grade separation project. He said the projects are indicative of a board working well together.
    “You’ve got to know there’s going to be internal personality variance and squabbles,” Pace said. “But, in the same token, we are keeping this county on a very steady pace.”
    The board’s work is not without criticism and questions. Several public works employees were arrested this year after indictments were handed down over shady dealings with a paving contractor. Pace believes the county is prudent in how they handled the situation.
    “When we found out this corruption was taking place, we immediately informed our county administrator that he needed to alert the D.A. and the sheriff and investigate this,” Pace said. “We took a stand.”
    He said a September Denver Post article referencing a land deal with developer Craig Carlson for a state youth detention facility in Brighton unfairly portrayed the county’s involvement.
    “He made a sensationalist story out of it,” Pace said of the reporter. “”He didn’t go ahead and say Carlson had an option on the property to buy. The county couldn’t buy it. He didn’t go ahead and say that the state said ‘this is the property we want.’”
    Eight years into his work on the commission, Pace said one of his selling points remains that he isn’t a career politician. He points out that he was asked to run the first time.
    “I’m honest, I’m a hard-working person,” he said. “I speak the truth even it’s not the truth you want to hear. The one thing I continually say is I’m doing it for service. I’m not looking to the next rung on the political ladder. This is not a stepping stone to Congress. This is not a stepping stone to the governor’s office for me.”
    His goal for a final term is to maintain financial stability. He bristles at his opponent’s assertion that the county lacks fiscal discipline. He wants to continue to work with Adams County communities to gain investment to create jobs. A personal goal for Pace is to find the funding for a regional law enforcement training facility and a public shooting and education park, when the economy improves.
    “I’m proud of who I am and I can look myself in the mirror,” Pace said. “And if I don’t win the election? So be it. But I think I will.”


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