Former Gig Harbor council member Derek Young isn't going to be out of the local government game for long.
December 31 marked the end of a 16-year tenure on the city council for Young. On Friday he announced his campaign for the Pierce County Council District 7 seat. PenMet Parks executive director, and former county council member, Terry Lee has also filed to run. Young's background is in city government, but he's gained county-wide experience.
"Really over the last several years I've been working on a variety of regional (issues)," Young said.
If elected, Young's priorities are transportation, growth management and public safety. His county experience is as a member of the Pierce County and Puget Sound Regional Councils; and Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners.
He wants to see a stable county budget, better transportation and long-term economic growth. Over all, Young wants "positive results for (the) whole region," according to his announcement.
Young has racked up quite a few endorsements including Tacoma mayor Marilyn Strickland, Pierce County executive Pat McCarthy and Rep. Larry Seaquist. Members of both the Gig Harbor and Tacoma city councils have also given endorsements.
"I've been really pleased with the response so far," Young said of his endorsements.
When he first ran for office Young was, well, pretty young. A fresh-faced 21-year-old who wanted to give back to the city where he was raised.
"I was sort of ridiculously young," he said of his first campaign.
His opponent Lee, who announced last week, is someone he has known for a long time. Young knows it's going to be tough. The incumbent is Stan Flemming. The positions covers Gig Harbor, Ruston, the Key Peninsula and a sizable portion of North Tacoma.
"I don't anticipate this being a terribly divisive campaign," Young said. "I think we'll give voters a good choice."
Currently, Young is a small business owner who spends his spare time with his nieces, Zoe and Darby. He is a graduate of Peninsula schools and the University of Washington.
His interest in the seat comes from a belief that working on policy brings results, not an elevated political profile. He said there has been talk of him running for a legislative seat, but he feels that local work is the best way for him to help the community.
"Local government is a place where we can still get stuff done," he said.
Reporter Karen Miller can be reached at 253-358-4155 or by email at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter, @Gateway_Karen.