Pat Young is a 30-year-old, lifelong Catonsville resident.
When he heard that Del. Shirley Nathan-Pulliam planned to pursue a seat in the state Senate in 2014 and give up her seat in the House of Delegates, he decided to try his hand at state politics.
"I said well, that opens up a seat," said Young, a Democrat like Nathan-Pulliam. "I wasn't going to go up against an incumbent.
"But it's a new district and there's an open seat, so why not," he said.
Nathan-Pulliam has represented District 10, which includes Catonsville, in the House since 1995. The veteran legislator has announced her intentions to run for the District 44 state Senate seat presently held by state Sen. Verna Jones-Rodwell in the 2014 election.
The state's 2012 redistricting shifted her into District 44, which will include portions of Baltimore City in District 44A and Baltimore County in 44B.
The portions of Catonsville now in District 10 will become District 44B.
Windsor Mill resident Rainier Harvey, the only other candidate to file for the 44B seat as of May 22, said he has the backing of Nathan-Pulliam.
Young said "being a connector" will be the greatest strength he would bring to the position, creating easier avenues for communication between constituents and state agencies.
Upon arriving at Towson University after four years in the military, he discovered there were few resources available for student veterans. He founded the student veterans group at Towson University in 2006 and is currently the coordinator of veterans services there.
"We live in an age where we have so much technology and so much information," Young said. "There's just so much information out there that nobody knows where to start.
"You should be able to call your local delegate's office and be connected directly to that source," he said.
Young went to Woodbridge Elementary School, Sudbrook Magnet Middle School and Mount St. Joseph High School.
Two months after graduating in May of 2001, he left for boot camp in the U.S. Marine Corps.
After two tours in Iraq and one in Liberia, Young came home to Catonsville and decided he wanted to go to school.
He triple majored in political sciences, religious studies and philosophy with a minor in theater at Towson. He said the skills he acquired through his various experiences will help him create a better, healthier connection between the public and elected officials.
"I'm home grown. I can give back to the community I grew up in," Young said.
He said he would try to create more transparency in the community and said that, because he lives in the area, he is invested in doing what is best for residents.
"It's a small district," Young said. "But there's things beyond the district that can also affect the people in this area.
"This is something that I care about, because this is my home," he said.