Carbondale’s Holtzman to stick with appointed, not elected, position for now |

Carbondale’s Holtzman to stick with appointed, not elected, position for now

The future is equally bright and uncertain for state official and Carbondale resident Marc Holtzman.

One thing is for sure: He won’t serving as lieutenant governor.

That was confirmed Thursday when Colorado Gov. Bill Owens revealed Jane Norton of Grand Junction as his running mate in this year’s campaign for re-election.

The two will face Democratic candidate Rollie Heath and his running mate, Bill Thiebaut, in the Nov. 5 election.

As long ago as early June, Owens had said that he had asked Holtzman to be his running mate, and Holtzman had declined. Still, Holtzman’s name continued to surface as a possible candidate for the job as recently as the day Owens named Norton as his pick.

Holtzman, Owens’ secretary of technology, said Thursday he was honored to be considered for the running mate position. But for now Holtzman wants to focus on his current job, which he had committed to remain in for all four years of Owens’ first term.

After that, he said, “I really have no specific plan.”

Holtzman might decide he wants to remain in his present position. He also has given some thought to running for office. If he does, he noted, it wouldn’t be the first time.

He once ran for Congress in Pennsylvania.

“I was 26 and I looked about 18,” said Holtzman, who at 42 still has a bit of a choir-boy look about him. “I was a conservative Republican running in a heavily Democratic district and I got slaughtered.”

In retrospect, he says, it was one of the best things to happen to him at that point in his life. The setback convinced him to go into business instead. Holtzman ended up having a successful, decade-long career in investment banking in Europe, where he specialized in eastern Europe and Russia.

While taking another shot at a run for office is a possibility, “I feel that the way I serve now is just as rewarding as elected public service,” he said.

He said he enjoys the range of his duties and the ability he has to get things done.

“It’s not the kind of thing to rule out,” he said of a bid for elected office, “but I only would do it if I felt I needed to get things done in a way I can’t through appointed office.”

A return to the private sector is also a possibility, but Holtzman doesn’t know if he wants his next career move to be back in that direction.

“I’m not trying to be evasive. I really haven’t given it much thought,” he said.

Also not to be ruled out is work in the academic sector. Holtzman has worked closely both with the private sector and with educational institutions during his tenure in Owens’ cabinet.

In fact, Holtzman said, he has turned down several opportunities in the academic sector while he has been technology secretary.

One of those opportunities would have required him to move to Washington, D.C., “which I really had no interest in doing,” he said. “I like living here too much.”

Holtzman maintains an apartment in Denver, “but this is home,” he said by telephone from his residence, perched above Carbondale.

Holtzman does plan to remain in Colorado, based on commitments he has made for the future.

He has been asked by Owens to remain as chairman of the Governor’s Commission on Science and Technology, and as chairman of the board of trustees for the Colorado Institute of Technology.

“I told him I would be honored to do so,” he said.

“I have found the last three and a half years of public service to be the most rewarding and satisfying thing I have ever done. I always want to remain involved in one form or another.

“I feel like I have had the opportunity to touch the lives of a lot of people. The governor has given me a great opportunity to serve. From my point of view, I feel good getting something done in the public sector,” he added.

Holtzman said he was more effective because his office was housed in the governor’s office. Unlike some Cabinet members who see Owens much less frequently, Holtzman said he often would visit with the governor three or four times a day.

“I feel I had his ear on issues … because they are issues that are important to him,” he said.

Meanwhile, Holtzman praised the choice of Norton as Owens’ running mate.

“I really feel that was an outstanding selection. She’s very capable, a very effective person,” said Holtzman, who said he has worked closely with her over the years.

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