Rhinelander City Council President Alex Young announced Feb. 7 that he intends to run for the 34th State Assembly seat.
Young wasted no time declaring his intentions, as the announcement came on the heels of longtime state representative Dan Meyer’s announcement late Feb. 3 that he didn’t intend to run for re-election.
“I felt it was important to get out of the gate as soon as possible, said Young. “This is a huge district, and I have to make sure I get out and meet as many people as possible.”
Young will run on the Republican ticket, and said that his extensive knowledge of local government and economic development has prepared him well to serve in the legislature.
“Obviously there are some pretty acute problems with our local economy.” Young said, noting that the state is facing many critical issues but they all have a connection with jobs. “Our politicians have to help create an environment that is more conducive to business growth.”
“Likewise,” Young continued, “controlling government spending and rejecting increased burdens on business is central to any effort to create job growth. Wisconsin has regulated and taxed too many businesses and senior citizens out of this state. When businesses leave, jobs leave. When senior citizens leave, we lose tax base and lose a critical component of the fabric of our communities.”
Young, a 1999 graduate of Rhinelander High School, has served on the Rhinelander City Council for nearly eight years. He has experience working in the banking, financial planning and insurance sales industries, and said that experience has served him well as he and the rest of the council and the mayor have had to make some difficult decisions in the last two years in order to provide city services with fewer resources available.
“Budget time has certainly been more difficult in the last couple years, but I am certainly a proponent of giving municipalities more control over their spending decisions,” said Young. “In the end, doing the job comes down to always putting the interest of the state and the district first.”
Young also currently serves as the president of Downtown Rhinelander, Inc., Rhinelander’s downtown development organization. He said he believes one of the keys to economic growth in the Northwoods is to create opportunities for not only large industry and retail, but also small business.
“Government should be there to help create an environment that encourages businesses to grow and expand,” said Young. “That’s what we’ve been doing in downtown Rhinelander, and what needs to be brought statewide.”
Young said he has yet to touch base with Meyer since the Eagle River representative announced his intentions at Vilas County’s annual Lincoln/Reagan Day Dinner last Friday. He said he intends to speak with Meyer soon.
“Dan is certainly a politician I have tremendous respect for,” said Young. “I’ve been considering running for a higher office for a while now, and the timing is right.”