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Teen serious about run for Tempe mayor’s job

By: Adam Schifter

January 26, 2008

Change: It’s a word you hear in practically every candidate’s oratory now that election season is in full swing. Mike Huckabee uses it; Hillary Clinton uses it; Barack Obama bases his entire campaign on it.

But among these and other familiar names, there’s one political hopeful who says he truly represents a new way of government doing business: Derek Lull.

On the surface, Lull seems to be your basic, everyday teenager. A senior at Corona del Sol High School, he runs for the school cross country and track teams and plays for the marching band during the week. On weekends, he enjoys hanging out with friends and catching an occasional movie.

Don’t be deceived, though. Lull is different; he is running for mayor of Tempe. Even though he didn’t collect the required number of petition signatures to get his name on this year’s ballot, Lull believes he can be successful as a write-in candidate.

And that, it turns out, would be one for the record books.

At the ripe age of 33, Neil Giuliano was elected mayor of Tempe in 1994, making him the youngest person to hold the position in the city’s history.

When the polls open on March 11, Derek will have been legal for less than a month, breaking Giuliano’s record by 15 years if he wins.

 “A younger viewpoint would be refreshingly opposite to the way things have always been done,” said Lull, “and I would certainly represent that change.”

As a lifelong resident of Tempe, Lull says he understands the issues and is confident that he has the necessary tools to fix them.

Because of increasing property taxes and a downward housing market, Lull suggests that Tempe is becoming more and more inaccessible to younger families, rendering as useless the opportunities and services that the city has to offer.

“I want to see Tempe as an admiring city to young families. I want them to be able to afford the property taxes, and take full advantage of our great schools. I want Tempe to be a family-oriented community for all citizens to enjoy.”

Lull also believes that greater community involvement in crime watch and prevention, reduced sales taxes and audits of the city’s budget would help to make his vision a reality.

“I want citizens to feel comfortable with their local politicians,” said Derek. “We need a user-friendly mayor and city council who would listen to residents, and I can offer exactly this.”

In the fall, Derek plans to enroll at ASU where he will continue to pursue his interests in government and economics.

He hopes that maybe, just maybe, he will even have the opportunity to put these lessons to practical and efficient use as mayor.

“I need to spread my word to let Tempe voters know that they have a choice, and that they don’t have to accept the incumbent. A vote for Derek Lull is a vote for change; the choice is yours to make.”



Photo by David Stone


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