Times 2020 Election Candidate Profile: Mark Holy, District 5 Polk County Commissioner

Jess Bengtson
Crookston Times

Tell us about yourself, your family, education, career and political experience.

    I’m married to my wife, Sharlene and we have three adult boys. I grew up in rural East Grand Forks, attended EGF senior high, and went to college at NDSU (North Dakota State University) for one year then ND state school of design. I was a pilot for 24 years doing crop spraying and charter work, then, since 2003, I’ve been farming. I was an alderman for the EGF City Council from 1998-2005, two four-year terms. I helped work on flood recovery and other things.

Why are you running to be the District 5 Polk County Commissioner?

    I want to be involved and help my neighbors.

What would you like to accomplish on day one if you’re elected?

    I’m not going in with any agenda; I want to see how the county functions and go from there.

What area would you like to see the county make improvements? i.e. roads, bridges, natural resources, small businesses, infrastructure, etc. Explain.

    Business development is critical for our rural area. Preserving county assets is also important to people of northwest Minnesota. And overall, taxation is also something that needs to be looked at.

In regards to the handling of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, name one thing you agree with that Governor Walz has done for the state of Minnesota. Then, on the flip side, name one thing you disagreed with. Explain.

    Communication was fine in the beginning, but to treat all of Minnesota the same was a mistake.

    I disagreed with the governor treating all of Minnesota the same. but I’m all for if there’s a county that has a hot spot or area that should be looked at and local people could adjust, and do what they can. Minnesota, especially in the beginning, didn’t have many case numbers so to come out and close businesses or lock the state down because of numbers in Minneapolis or the metro area, that was different than (the numbers in) Polk or Pennington or other northern counties. Also, being on the border, people came from other areas to Grand Forks because it was open and that was concerning to us. Whether it’s a pandemic or other issues. it’s different up here in northwest Minnesota than southern or southeast Minnesota. We have a different environment and we have a different group; the conditions and economics are different. Northern Minnesota does not start at St Cloud.

If the state were to say that it was up to each individual county to set its own COVID-19 public health safety guidelines and judging by the county’s current positive case numbers, would you like to see the mask mandate for all continue or would you want to leave it up to individuals and businesses? Explain.

    I think it should be left up to individuals.

What do you like to do for fun? Hobbies?

    I like to work.

What is your favorite place to visit in Minnesota?

    We like to go to the Duluth area and Park Rapids area too; lakes country. We have a motorhome that we park and travel with.

What is your favorite restaurant and where is it located?

    I like good food, period. Any place is good.

Mark Holy