Longtime county worker, former APD supervisor Jeff Baker files for Arapahoe commissioner race
Jeff Baker, a Republican, currently works as manager of facility and property operations for the Facilities and Fleet Management Department for Arapahoe County. He has worked for Arapahoe County for 17 years.
AURORA | A former Aurora Police supervisor and longtime Arapahoe County employee has thrown his hat into the ring for the District 3 county commissioner race.
Jeff Baker, a Republican, currently works as manager of facility and property operations for the Facilities and Fleet Management Department for Arapahoe County. He has worked for Arapahoe County for 17 years, also having worked in the county’s human services department.
Baker, who has lived in Arapahoe County the past 22 years, also spent five years as supervisor of crime scene investigation for the Aurora Police Department. He retired from the U.S. Army in 1993 as a chief warrant officer after 17 years of military service, including combat support during Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 1989 and 1990.
Baker announced his candidacy during the Aug. 5 Arapahoe Republican Breakfast Club meeting. His entrance into the race sets up a Republican primary for the District 3 seat, where Tom Coker, of Aurora, is also filed to run.
In addition to his work in Aurora and Arapahoe County government, Baker has taught forensic science and other law-enforcement topics for the Law Enforcement Academy at the Community College of Aurora since 1996.
Baker is a native Coloradan and is married to Yangson Baker. They have two adult children. He also is a deacon for Young-Nak Presbyterian Church of Denver on South Parker Road, where he oversees the youth ministry program.
Longtime staffer makes rare move in running
BY PETER JONES
While many staffers in specialized offices ranging from those of the county coroner to the clerk and recorder have eventually sought their bosses’ elected positions, it is unusual for a county employee to run for commissioner.
“I’m not doing it to be unusual,” Baker said with a laugh. “I do think that the experience of working for the county for 17 years gives me a unique perspective on how the county is operating. The taxpayers would appreciate having someone who can hit the ground running and who is already familiar with all the projects and initiatives currently underway.”
As manager of facility and property operations for the Facilities and Fleet Management Department, Baker oversees maintenance of the 1.3 million square feet comprising the county’s 33 buildings. He previously spent five years as a youth-services administrator in the Human Services Department.
Unlike many of his colleagues in the building, Baker has lived in Arapahoe County for more than two decades, including the last 16 years in District 3, the large and diverse swath of the county he hopes to represent.
Baker, a Centennial resident and Denver native, is seeking the Republican nomination to succeed term-limited Republican Rod Bockenfeld in 2016.
Most candidates elected to the Board of Commissioners – the full-time, five-person body that approves the budget, performs quasi-judicial functions and oversees departments – have come from other elected positions, private-sector leadership or partisan activism. Baker is the rare candidate to rise from the county’s workforce.
“Everybody who’s ever worked someplace has said, ‘You know, if I were the boss, this is how I would do things differently.’ I’ve got some ideas,” he said.