St. Paul businessman Tim Holden entered the mayor's race this week, saying he wants to promote "jobs, jobs, jobs," spend money on road repairs and avoid development subsidies.
His stated purpose on his campaign committee form: "Save the City."
Holden ran for mayor in 2013, in an attempt to unseat Mayor Chris Coleman. Now he is one of six candidates vying for the open seat Coleman is leaving behind.
Holden is running as an independent against four DFLers and one Green Party member. He said political parties are problematic and he doesn't want to be boxed in with a label. He is also taking an unusual tack when it comes to campaign fundraising. He's not going to do it.
"I'm not asking for campaign contributions. … I don't want your money, I want your mind," said Holden, who has never held political office.
As mayor, he said he would have an open-door policy and would spend a lot of time listening to residents.
Holden, 48, owns the residential remodeling business Added Value Improvements and previously owned property along University Avenue. During the 2013 election he opposed the creation of the Green Line light rail and said it was hurting businesses along University Avenue.
He has had problems with the city's red tape and wants to promote jobs by reducing businesses' challenges with zoning and licensing, Holden said. Like the other mayoral candidates, he said he generally supports a $15 minimum wage.
He said he opposes city subsidies for "professional entertainment" projects, such as the MLS stadium planned at University and Snelling avenues. The $150 million stadium is being privately financed. The city is paying $18.4 million for infrastructure updates in the area. Holden, who lives in the Midway neighborhood, called the stadium plan an "abomination" and said he would prefer to see corporate offices at the site.
He wants to focus city spending on infrastructure projects like bridge repairs and bumpy, below-grade manhole covers on Snelling Avenue, he said. Additionally, as a father of twin daughters, Holden said he wants the city to ensure children are well-educated.
He and other candidates — Melvin Carter III, Elizabeth Dickinson, Tom Goldstein, Pat Harris and Dai Thao — will have numerous opportunities to outline their plans at upcoming candidate forums.