One of Jesse Young’s daughters said it best when Young was selected Friday for the 26th Legislative District’s vacant House seat.
“Daddy won!” she shouted.
The seat was open after Jan Angel, R-Port Orchard, was elected to the Senate in November. Young was the top choice from the Republican precinct committee officers in an applicant pool that included Adam Berman and Doug Cloud.
Young lives in Gig Harbor with his wife, Jennie, and five children. After the resolution was passed, Young’s children, who took up a row at the Gig Harbor Civic Center, hugged their father and cheered.
Young said it was important that his children be there for the public process, so they can see what their father is involved in.
Marlyn Jensen, a precinct committee officer, called Young a one-in-a-million candidate.
“He really is the American dream,” she said.
Young grew up in the Hilltop neighborhood of Tacoma. Occasionally homeless, he worked his way through school and was valedictorian at Wilson High School. He washed dishes to put himself through Notre Dame University in South Bend, Ind.
Young doesn’t frame his success story as a dream but as a track record. He has a “history of achievement,” he told the joint meeting between the Pierce County Council and Kitsap County commissioners.
Young named Technology and Economic Development; Transportation and Health Care as three committees he would like to be on. He said his work in information technology will bring a unique skill set to the Legislature.
Young currently works as a health care consultant with Kaiser Permanente.
“I really believe I have a unique skill set that will serve the district well in Olympia,” he said.
Young has previously run unsuccessfully for Congress in Washington’s 6th District.
Cloud, a Gig Harbor attorney, was the third choice for the seat. He’s run unsuccessfully for office in the 6th Congressional District in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010. He cited his recognizable name as a positive for the House seat.
In terms of transportation, Cloud said improvements need to be made to state Route 167. He said there were discussions about the highway when he was a student at Fife High School in the early 1970s.
He said the conversation had gone on long enough, and he would work with the Legislature to improve the corridor.
Applicant Adam Berman did not attend the meeting. He had prior commitment to film a pilot, friend Matt Finn said. Finn read a statement on Berman’s behalf.