The odds are overwhelmingly against him, but Michael Young does not see it that way. The former U.S. Marine who did a tour of duty in Somalia has fought long odds before. Young is the Republican nominee for the House District 33 special election, which takes place next Tuesday. He views the race as a challenge that is winnable, despite facing an overwhelming voter registration disadvantage.
“I’m going to say it’s a 50-50 chance,” Young said. “I had a house event at a friend’s house last night. They’re very strong leaning democrats. They had a couple of their neighbors over. I had the chance to sit down and talk with them and have them pose questions to me, and of the four families there, three said they’re going to support me and two took yard signs.”
The southside Des Moines district is seeking a new representative after then-House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy resigned to take a position in the Iowa attorney general’s office. Michael Young believes his background makes him perfectly suited to represent the area.
“I’m a lifelong southsider,” Young said. “Four generations of my family have gone to Lincoln High School. My son is the fifth. He’ll graduate next year. I know the southside very, very well. Long family ties to the southside and also the city of Des Moines. I know the issues. I know what’s important to those neighborhoods.”
Young has certainly invested a significant effort into winning the special election. His campaign, with assistance from the Polk County GOP, has made more than 13,000 phone calls to HD 33 voters.
“We’ve been getting out there, walking the neighborhoods, passing out the literature,” Young said. “We’ve got signs everywhere. By last count, we’ve got more signs out there than my competitor does. So, we’ll have to wait until Election Day to see how the results turn out.”
Michael Young serves on the City of Des Moines Access Advisory Board. They work to implement and establish handicap access to all city buildings and jobs. Advocating on behalf of veterans is also a key element he would bring to the state legislature.
“The biggest challenge so far is making people aware there is a special election,” Young said. “That’s the biggest issue and I think the second biggest issue is people’s general dislike of Washington, D.C. and they’re blaming the Republicans, so it’s kind of carrying over when I meet them. It’s important to try to get them back and say, hey, this is a local and state issue, what can we go about state issues.”
The dysfunction in Washington is caused by power-happy politicians who have been in office for too long, Young says. That exists in Des Moines, too. Michael Young wants to end partisan bickering and focus on serving the electorate.
“Republicans aren’t always right, Democrats aren’t always right. We have to do a common sense approach to how we accomplish things in government.”
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