Austyn Valla, a 2012 Ralston High School graduate, has thrown his hat in the ring to be Ralston’s mayor in the upcoming 2020 election.
According to the Douglas County Election Commission’s website, Valla filed for office on Dec. 13.
Valla said in an interview he has lived in Ralston his entire life and saw that the mayor’s office was up for re-election.
“I think after the whole arena situation, there is a lot of change and lot of different ideas that can be brought to Ralston to improve things,” Valla said, “I want to contribute back to the city that raised me.”
Valla has never held a political office.
He said it will be helpful for him as mayor to come in with no preconceived notions due to him not being ingrained in all of the city politics and drama.
Valla will be 26 at the time of the election and does not view this an issue.
“I am young, but I am passionate about the city.
“I was raised there and know the city pretty well and I want to do my part in improving the city and I don’t think that has an age requirement,” Valla said.
Valla said he wants the city to refocus on improving the community and make the city a great place to raise kids.
“When I was raised in Ralston, the important things that made my childhood amazing were the parks and the grade schools,” Valla said.
Valla works full time in tech support for Fiserv, but says if elected he would quit his day job and focus on running the city.
He said he is not intimidated by the steep learning curve that being mayor would present.
“I’ve always been rolling with the punches and learning quickly,” Valla said.
He said he plans to start campaigning this spring and mostly will be running on presenting an alternative to the community.
Mayor Don Groesser has ran unopposed in elections since 2004.
If elected Valla would be the youngest mayor in the history of Ralston.