20-year-old launches campaign for 78thPublished 5:25pm Tuesday, January 24, 2012
David Mann became the youngest Niles City Council member ever when he was elected to represent the 3rd Ward in November.
He’s been on the job all of three months, and now is ready to run to become possibly the youngest state representative in Michigan history.
The 20-year-old Niles resident announced his candidacy for the Michigan 78th District House of Representative seat this week.
He will turn 21 in March, in time to make the age requirement to run for that office. If elected, it would also make him the youngest legislator in state history.
According to a spokesman for the House of Representatives clerk’s office, it is impossible to conclusively determine the youngest representative based on past record keeping. But the youngest House member is believed to have been George Cushingberry, who was 21 years old and 11 months when he assumed office in 1974.
Sharon Tyler, who currently holds the 78th District post, has announced she won’t seek a third term but will pursue the Berrien County Clerk’s post. Already filed for the Republican party is Berrien County Board chairman Dave Pagel, of Berrrien Springs. Jack Arbanas, a Buchanan resident and political newcomer, is running on the Democrat side.
Mann, who is running as a Republican, has always wanted to be involved in state government, he said in an interview Tuesday.
“I was expecting Sharon Tyler to run a third time,” he said. “But when she announced she wasn’t, I had to make a decision. It was best to do it now while the opportunity is here.”
During his short tenure on the city council, Mann has learned the importance of local government, he said.
“The biggest issue that needs to be addressed is making sure government is working effectively and supporting local units of government,” he said. “Being on the council, I understand that local government is what directly affects people’s lives the most.”
Mann said, if elected, he would work to extend increased revenue-sharing funding to municipalities.
“It’s better to look at how to trim at the state level and not the local level. There is really no area to cut more out at the city level,” he said.
Mann also said he would work to “slowly and responsibly” lessen property and income taxes, which he said “take a toll on the middle and poorer classes.”
Mann was born and raised in Niles and is a homeschool graduate studying theology at Andrews University. He said he will graduate in time to assume office if he is elected.
“I think I have new, fresh ideas,” he said. “And I’m willing and able to work with those who are older. I have a pretty high maturity level that will help me to make wise decisions for this area.”
Mann also pointed to Aaron Schock, who, at age 23, became Illinois’ youngest state representative in 2005, and has gone on to serve in the U.S. Congress.
“He’s been doing a good job,” Mann said. “It’s good to have a good mixture in the state Legislature of people from different walks of life.”
More information about Mann and his campaign platform can be found at www.silverbrookblog.com or by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.