GREENVILLE – The race for the presidential primaries and general election in 2020 is heating up, but the national and state election won’t be the only part of the ballot that will affect area residents. Darke County residents will have the opportunity to choose a representative to the Darke County Commission. Although the primary election is eight months away, at least one candidate has announced their desire to serve local residents as a commissioner.
Larry Holmes, of Greenville, recently announced he will run as a Republican for the seat that will begin a four-year term in 2021. “I’m reaching a point in my life and career where I can maybe give back to the community,” said Holmes. “This is something back in the early 2000s that I thought would be something fun to do when I got the opportunity.”
Giving back to the community isn’t new for Holmes. He has a long list of boards where is presently serving or previously served. Greenville residents may recognize him from his service on the Greenville City Schools Board of Education where he served for nearly 12 years. Approximately half of his time on that board was as its president. He currently serves on the Darke County Community Improvement Corporation, Darke County Historical Society, Darke County YMCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby & Darke County, Financial Executives International – Dayton Chapter, and Jay County Economic Development Corporation.
Before he sought the position, Holmes did his homework to see what was involved. He admitted he was a little surprised at how much fiscal oversight there is in the position, but said, “I bring 40-plus years of fiscal administration to the table.” Since 1995, he has served as vice-president of finance and treasurer for Fort Recovery Industries. With his time on the school board, Holmes has experience and knowledge of government accounting, which he admits is different from private industry.
“From the outside looking in,” he said, “it looks like there’s some opportunity to have better relations locally with county and city and village officials, maybe even with county staff as well as communications at the state level. Everybody has their own opinion, but I believe I can bring some positive influence.”
He feels Darke County is in a “reasonably good spot” economically, but “there could be more that could be done. Part of it is positioning your community in a way to be attractive and be open to the opportunities come to you. Some of that is seeking those opportunities.” He cited the efforts that are currently taking place with workforce development, as well as the NextGen group that is studying what the county and city need to offer in order to attract and keep youth in the community. “We haven’t arrived, but we’re in a good spot to move forward,” he said.
Coming from private industry to county government, Holmes believes some of the strengths he brings are strategic planning, effectively securing and deploying resources, and how to respect and structure the leadership within the organization are just a few of the area.
“This is the community where I was raised and where Carol (wife) and I chose to raise our family. I very much want to see the community, county-wide be successful, and I would like to be part of that,” he said. Holmes is a Greenville High School graduate and earned an M.B.A. in Financial Administration from Wright State University.
He and his wife have four children, Heather, Bart, Geoff, and Kent, as well as five grandchildren.