Local political leader dies

Hillsborough County Commissioner Carol H. Holden died Friday after a brief illness, according to the county administrator. Holden, of Amherst, was a well-respected schoolteacher and an influential member of the New Hampshire Republican Party known for her Signature hats and dedication to the communitythrough her public service and volunteer work. She died peacefully at her home at age 73.

"It is with a heavy heart that Joe and I mourn the loss of our friend Carol Holden, who served the people of New Hampshire honorably as a longtime member of the Board of Commissioners of Hillsborough County and as a state representative," U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a Nashua Republican, said in a statement.

"A beloved member of the Republican Party of New Hampshire, Carol was a devoted leader and public servant, and she will certainly be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with her husband, Don, her family and her friends during this difficult time." The information was first made available by county administrator Gregory Wenger. Holden served as vice chairwoman of the county board since 1997, serving as the District 3 commis­sioner for 24 towns, in­cluding Amherst, Brook­line, Merrimack, Milford and Mont Vernon.

The three-member county Board of Commis­sioners, based in Goff­stown, reviews budgets over all county depart­ments and governs cer­tain agencies not under statutory control of elect­ed officers.

From 1984-97, she served in the state House of Representatives, her fi­nal two years as assistant majority leader.

She also served as the supervisor of the check­list for Amherst, was the town’s School District moderator for more than two decades and was an officer of the New Hamp­shire Association of Counties.

Holden was also known for her strong ties to the Republican Party, includ­ing her tenure as presi­dent of the National Con­ference of Republican County Officials.

Her hometown GOP organization, the Am­herst Republicans, called Holden a true Republi­can and dedicated public servant.

Yvonne Dean-Bailey, a first-term Republican from Northwood, ex­pressed shock on social media about Holden’s passing.

"You were one of best Republicans out there," she tweeted. "We will miss you greatly."

Holden and her hus­band, Donald, moved to Amherst in 1977. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in December.

Holden also resided part-time in South Yar­mouth, Mass., where she enjoyed sailing with her family on Nantucket Sound. She would wear her signature hat and red, white and blue re­galia during holiday pa­rades.