May 8, 2014

Former Rose Hill mayor Richard Young files for Sedgwick County Commission seat

A former mayor of Rose Hill wants to dive back into politics at the county level.

A former mayor of Rose Hill wants to dive back into politics at the county level.

Richard Young, a Wichita Democrat, has filed for the District 5 seat on the Sedgwick County Commission.

He is the lone Democrat to file for the district, which covers southeast Wichita and Derby, so far, according to records from the Sedgwick County elections office. Derby Mayor Dion Avello and Rep. Jim Howell of Derby have filed for the Republican primary. Current District 5 Commissioner Jim Skelton announced earlier this year that he would not pursue a second term.

Young said Thursday that he was born and raised in Wichita, graduated from Wichita West High School and spent a few years in the Army Reserve. He lived about 20 years in Rose Hill, moving back to Wichita in 1997.

He served on Rose Hill’s planning and zoning commission, eventually becoming vice chairman.

“I learned a lot about land use in that job,” he said.

From there, he moved to the Rose Hill City Council, on which he served for four years, he said.

He served as mayor of Rose Hill from 1989 to 1993.

He said he became interested in county politics after “I was looking at the budget for the county, and I was sort of concerned about some of the decreases on spending” on social services, he said.

“I thought I might be able to help,” especially regarding opportunities for the homeless, he said, adding he always looked forward to the annual budget when in office.

He said he also is concerned about the potential for disasters from hazardous materials traveling through the county and about weather preparedness.

Young, 67, is retired. He said he has written several books, including mystery thrillers and guides to aerial photography.

Young worked about 30 years shooting aviation movies and videos and retired from the former Raytheon Aircraft.

The primary election is Aug. 5. The filing deadline for candidates is June 2.

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