GOMER — Now is the time for the next generation to step into leadership in Allen County, the youngest candidate in the Republican primary said.
“Knowing that my younger generation is coming up, we have to implement ourselves, or we’ll be left behind,” said Alan Tyrrell Jr., 24, of Gomer. “We don’t want to be the generation that misses out in our community, especially when we can help out in the community.”
Tyrrell may be a new name to some people in Allen County, but he’s already well-known in the Gomer area. He tosses around terms like “my friend” to customers and possible voters at Uncle Al’s Pizza in Gomer, his family’s business where he works as a manager.
The 2014 graduate of Elida High School and Apollo Career Center also works as a real estate investor with eXp Realty in Gomer, in addition to working as a baseball umpire. He was an Eagle Scout, constructing a flagpole in Carmen Cemetery, off Old Lincoln Highway, west of Wapak Road. He remains active helping with Troop 84, he said.
A key issue Tyrrell sees in the race is talking about maintenance of existing county buildings. He doesn’t criticize the current commissioners’ plans, but he wants to “maximize the life of our structures.”
“Maintenance has been a big thing, maintaining the county structures,” he said. “It’s good to maintain improving buildings and maximizing the life of our structures.”
Tyrrell said he also believes in the limited role of the government, he said. He’d rather see the commissioners focus on developing a business-friendly atmosphere, particularly given Allen County’s two major thoroughfares, Interstate 75 and U.S. 30. He looks at U.S. 33 from Bellefontaine toward Columbus and wonders why Allen County can’t see similar growth.
“I believe we need to make it easier for businesses to be able to come to Lima,” he said. “… We’re blessed to have those highways here, and we need to do whatever we can to bring businesses here.”
He knows some people may question his age and experience. Tyrrell said as a young, single man without children, they shouldn’t question his dedication to the region.
He also noted he’s running a self-funded campaign, meaning he’ll have no donors or lobbyists to appease.
“I definitely do hear from people second-guessing me going into the commissioner’s office at my age,” Tyrrell said. “They tell me it’s not just the person I am but my age. I don’t know that they believe how much my generation really wants to be involved in making the county better.”
Reach David Trinko at 567-242-0467 or on Twitter @Lima_Trinko.