Hi, I am Lieutenant Colonel Steve Holden. I’m a son, brother, husband, father, friend, and Army Veteran. I spent over 20 years serving our country. I took an oath to defend the Constitution, our country, and our citizens from all enemies, foreign and domestic. I may have retired from the Army, but I remain committed to the oath I made and will continue to observe that oath. This oath begins the story of WHY I have decided to run for public office and to serve as New York’s Congressman in the 21st District.
I decided to run for Congress because I believe in service. I believe in duty to one's country. I believe in our democracy. Over the past few years, we have seen continual attacks on democracy, science, freedom, and facts. We need to restore dignified representation in Washington, to lead by example while we deliver for the constituents in our districts.
Recently, you have seen the worst of our leaders in Washington. Infighting, abhorrent behavior in public and session, threats of physical violence toward visitors testifying, hypocrisy, lying, and efforts to defraud the voters and our government. What’s even worse is the silence by the peers of those involved. Silence is acceptance, and we simply cannot and should not accept this behavior by those chosen to represent the country.
Of course, as a Veteran, I have been deployed and stationed all over the globe. I found myself in New York in 2006 and back again in 2019. I am a 2007 graduate of Syracuse University. My wife and I were married in February of 2007 in Syracuse. I presently live in Camillus and plan to move to Alexandria Bay to be closer to family and yes, to be in the district. My wife and her family have a long history here, generations of family, including her Mohawk family. We have chosen to make this our forever home. After four deployments, and more than twenty years in the Army, I am finally able to settle in a place that I love and care about.
Running for Congress is no small task; if it were, the field would be flooded with candidates. It is not an endeavor I take lightly. As I mentioned, my choice to run comes down to my values and principles. I want to serve, to make a difference, and to see our county and its citizens become the best possible version of ourselves.
I’m passionate about a variety of issues: Veteran’s affairs, infrastructure, farming, including family farms, jobs, unions, gun violence, reproductive freedom, equality, and equity, voting rights and access, mental health, inflation, and housing. As a legislator, it is my job to listen to your perspectives and find solutions that work for the greater good. I want to know what your concerns are and how you think I can best help you, your family, and your community. But what qualifies me to serve?
On rural and farming issues, I look back to my youth in Oklahoma. I grew up in a rural area, where my grandparents ran a dairy farm. I was a member of Future Farmers of America and 4-H. My father was an autoworker and belonged to the UAW. I witnessed how corporate America leeched into our communities, family farming, and affected union jobs, both in my family and my community.
In 1992, I graduated from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Junior College with a degree in Criminal Justice. I then attended The University of Central Oklahoma where I received my degree in Political Science. While enlisted, I enrolled in a dual master's program in business administration and public administration. I am a certified Defense Financial Manager through the federal government, certified to handle public funds. All of these academic pursuits give me the perspective that now informs my approach to legislation.
I’ve given you some insights into who I am, where I am from, and where I want to be. Ultimately, I want to represent you in Washington. I want to offer the voters and residents of New York’s 21st district a fresh and progressive candidate who cares about the needs of our community.
Your endorsement and support are invaluable in the journey to create positive change for the residents of New York's 21st district. By standing with me, we can forge a path toward a more responsive and accountable government.
I deeply appreciate your consideration and look forward to the impact we can make together. Thank you for joining me on this journey to ensure that the 21st District of New York has a representative who is genuinely dedicated to their needs.
Lieutenant Colonel Steve Holden