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Del. Pat Young says he will run for open Baltimore County Council seat

Del. Pat Young speaks at Baltimore County's state legislative delegation town hall meeting Jan. 2 in Towson in which dozens of county residents stood up to tell their representatives what they want to see in the upcoming legislative session.
Del. Pat Young speaks at Baltimore County's state legislative delegation town hall meeting Jan. 2 in Towson in which dozens of county residents stood up to tell their representatives what they want to see in the upcoming legislative session. (Libby Solomon/Towson Times / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Del. Pat Young announced he will run to represent southwestern Baltimore County on the County Council next year, giving up a bid for reelection to his state seat.

Young, a 38-year-old Marine Corps veteran and Democrat, is forgoing a run to represent District 44B in the State House, choosing instead to campaign for the District 1 council seat that Democratic councilman Tom Quirk has said he will vacate.

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First elected in 2014, Young, who was born and raised in Catonsville, said as a member of the state legislature he has “no real direct say in what happens locally.”

With the county seat left open by Quirk and an influx of federal dollars offering some spending flexibility, Young — who serves on the House appropriations committee — sees an opportunity to chart a path forward for the southwestern county, particularly when it comes to “smart growth” and development.

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“It’d be an amazing opportunity to serve on the council and help play a role in guiding those funds effectively,” he said.

Young currently chairs the 23-member Baltimore County House delegation and serves as the Deputy Majority Whip. Having served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed for two tours in Iraq, he also serves as vice-chair of the House Veterans Caucus. Prior to holding office, Young said he spent six years as the director of Towson University Veterans Services.

While in office, Young was the primary sponsor on a bill reforming the state’s procurement processes to better support veteran-owned small businesses. He also created a state-level commission focused on improving the system for veterans seeking to enroll in higher education, modeled after an ad-hoc group he formed during his time at Towson.

Young was also a lead sponsor on a 2017 bill to expand eligibility for tuition waivers among homeless youth and those in foster care.

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Locally, he advocated for funding to replace the aging Lansdowne High School and closed a loophole that essentially gave Baltimore County Public Schools officials veto power over the election of the student member, who is elected through a vote by their peers.

He also passed a bill mandating student board members are paid as much as adult members of the board and increasing the scholarship for the student member.

“The one thing I can absolutely do and make a priority is increasing transparency, and more opportunity for folks to engage,” Young previously told The Catonsville Times.

Young, who lives in Westchester with his wife and two sons, wants to establish a council office that connects constituents and local businesses with the resources they need but may not know how to access.

Candidates have until next February to file to run for office, but no one, other than Young, has officially indicated they’ll run to represent the county’s first district, which encompasses the broader Catonsville and Arbutus area.

Likewise, no candidate has filed to run for Young’s state seat representing southwest Baltimore County.

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