Q&A with Darien Wilson, candidate for Douglas County commissioner, District 3

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Party: Democrat

Residence: Highlands Ranch

Campaign website: www.darien4commish.com

What makes you the best choice for this office?

I am an entrepreneur and small business owner, mom, and leader in my community. I will listen to hardworking families and small businesses, and put their concerns first. Science, data, and facts drive my decisions — not politics or ideology. I have started two corporations and built them from the ground up to award-winning businesses, and the skills I've sharpened over those two decades, and the relationships I've built as an active community member, will be helpful in local government.

If you're elected, what single issue will be at the top of your agenda?

Public health. Health was my top priority when I entered this race, and it remains my top priority. We must crush the virus in order to get back to work and school, and public health experts know best how to do that.

If you're elected, what must you accomplish in order for you to consider your term a success?

Making a difference makes me feel successful. I want our community to feel their county government listens to them and values their input. People are happy when they are empowered. And this county is full of brilliant people who are experts in their fields — our government will benefit tremendously by actively seeking their input.

What do you see as the most important role of a county commissioner?

The most important role of a county commissioner is to foster collaboration — within county offices, within the community, and with municipal, state, and the federal government.  I have experience collaborating, negotiating, and bringing people together in all of my roles — small business owner, mom of three and active volunteer.

What new challenges brought about by COVID-19 do you see affecting the county in the coming years and how will you help address them?

In addition to the health impacts, I am concerned about our small business community, especially our restaurants, and how commercial real estate will adapt to the transition of many folks to home offices. I will work with our Economic Development Corporations and Chambers to attract new businesses to the county, and when possible, reduce obstacles for restaurants, home-based businesses, and start-ups. I will work with our municipalities, state, and federal government and take advantage of incentives that benefit our local businesses.

What do you believe Douglas County's health services should look like in the future?

I support staying in Tri-County Health. We benefit from economies of scale by being part of TCHD — we pay next to the lowest per capita along the Front Range. Teaming up with other counties means access to top public health experts; a stand-alone health department would not be able to attract experts of the same stature. Each county in the partnership is unique, and I will ensure that TCHD continues to take our community's population into account. Before making major decisions regarding the future of our health department, I would gather community input and conduct an impact study and cost analysis.

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