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The Other Candidate

Seth Holden, the 25-year-old candidate for Boise Mayor and Boise State student, lives with his parents in Columbia Village.


Seth Holden doesn't have a campaign war chest. He doesn't even have a campaign playbook. He's counting on media interviews and a handful of candidate forums as the foundation of his campaign to be the next mayor Boise.

"I'm a student with limited funds," said the 25-year-old Boise native, who lives with his parents in Columbia Village. "I'm a junior at Boise State, with a combination of studies in technical communication and French."

Holden said he took a crash course in French before a two-year mission with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which took him to Switzerland and France. It was an experience he said "changed my life."

Another life-changer would be if Holden pulls off what would be the biggest political upset in Boise history, unseating incumbent Mayor Dave Bieter who is seeking a fourth term.

"Twelve years is too long for any one person to be mayor. It's that simple," Holden said. "This past summer, the deadline was quickly approaching for people to announce their candidacy. And I joked, 'I should run for mayor.' Then I sat for a couple of minutes and thought, 'Hey, I can do this. And I would be good at it. I might as well try.'"

Holden's candidacy is firm on certain issues. He advocates for hiring Boise's homeless men and women as city maintenance employees or even as transit workers. He also thinks the city should look at warehouse space to shelter some of the homeless men and women who have created a tent city at Cooper Court. Holden also said he would use his first 30 days in office to reexamine "excess" funds in certain city departments and reallocate the money to programs that are in greater need.

"I would also get more acquainted with stuff," he told attendees of an Oct. 22 candidate forum at the Boise Library.

Holden is less committal on the 2015 Foothills Open Space and Boise River Levy, which also goes before voters on Nov. 3.

"I'm for it as a concept, but I'm against it because it's too vague," he said.

If he's not successful in his current campaign, Holden said don't be surprised if you see him on another ballot sooner than later.

"More than a few people have told me that I should run for city council," he said.