16 District Assembly Race

by Srijan Sen

On Tuesday night incumbent Representative Leon D. Young defeated opponent Tracey Dent in the Democratic primary from Milwaukee’s 16th district.

Young secured 62.37 percent, 2,309 votes, while Dent got 37.17 percent, 1,376 votes, cast in his name.

Although the final count including absentee and late ballots will be released on Monday August 18, Young is the clear winner of this assembly race, as of Wednesday morning, with 100 percent of regular votes being reported.

In an interview with the Shepard Express, Young cited lack of employment, turmoil in public education, and crime specifically in regards to gun violence in Wisconsin as his core concerns.

At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session Young served on the Wisconsin committee of financial institutions, housing and real estate, insurance, and was the co-chair for the state and federal relations.

A former police officer Leon Young was born in Los Angeles, but attended Rufus King High School in Milwaukee and later graduated with a Bachelor in Arts from University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

Young is now a full time legislator with the Democratic Party and a member of: The Harambee Ombudsman Project, Milwaukee Police Association; League of Martin, House of Peace, NAACP, the Urban League, Social Development Commission, Minority Male Forum on Corrections, National Black Caucus of State Legislators’ Task Force on African American Males, 100 Black Men, Milwaukee Metropolitan Fair Housing, Boy Scouts of America and Martin Luther King Community Center.

Leon Young is the nephew of Wisconsin politician Marcia P. Coggs. In 1976 Coggs became the first African-American woman elected to either house of the Wisconsin Legislature.

In 1992 Coggs announced her retirement from politics leaving the seat open to Young who has been re-elected to office ever since.

Challenging Young for the Democratic ticket was CEO of Peace for Change Alliance Tracey Dent. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Dent graduated from North Division high school after which he pursued a degree in accounting at University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

Most recently, Dent formed a partnership with the Milwaukee Police Department aimed at reducing crime in the community and building trust between law enforcement and Milwaukee residents.

Dent is a member of: The NAACP, the think tank Aurora Sini Thought Leaders, the Urban League, Young Professionals, the Dominican Center for Women and the Human Trafficking Task Force.

He also sits on the advisory council for The Blood Center of Wisconsin.

Dent is a former Vice President of 100 Black Men of Greater Milwaukee, and the founder of the Milwaukee Walk Toward Wellness and the Getting it Together for a Brighter Future College Fair.

The general election will be held on November 4 in which Young will be unopposed.