SIOUX CITY | At 28, Jake Jungers is the youngest candidate seeking office in this year's Sioux City Council election.
It's something he says gives him a unique perspective in an election where attracting and keeping young professionals in Sioux City is a frequent point of discussion.
"I think our generation needs to get more involved and I’d like to be that voice," Jungers told the Journal's editorial board last week.
An East High graduate, Jungers attended Western Iowa Tech Community College and the University of South Dakota, where he studied political science. As the grandson of longtime Dakota County treasurer Robert H. Giese and nephew of former South Sioux City councilman, Nebraska state senator and current Dakota County treasurer Robert J. Giese, he said local politics is something he grew up around and, early on, became interested in himself.
"I have a family background," he said. "But sometimes, you just turn on the news, and I always paid attention to that, so I was naturally drawn to it."
For the past four years, Jungers has worked at Billion Nissan in Sioux City, where he currently holds a position as a service adviser. Since his college days, Jungers has volunteered in a variety of public organizations, including the Effective Fiscal and Public Policy Committee, Sioux City Growth Organization and Sioux City Neighborhood Network board.
Jungers said he attributes part of his drive for public service to his upbringing around public servants and his early years spent in a Catholic school environment.
"You were always doing something, and they always wanted you involved. That drives me," he said.
Jungers was among 14 people who applied earlier this year to serve the final year of the four-year term vacated by Keith Radig, who resigned to serve on the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors. The council ultimately appointed another younger candidate, the now 31-year-old Alex Watters, who is now among Jungers' election opponents.
Following that February appointment, Jungers was the first candidate to publicly announce his intentions to run in November's election.
Throughout his campaign, Jungers has said he will not be a "business as usual" candidate and would like to further challenge the decisions being made at that level during discussions.
"I just think we can do things a little bit better. I think we can discuss issues a little bit more," he said. "There's the average and middle-class people. They don't really have a voice right now."
Along with asking the extra question when needed, he said he wants to be the kind of person who listens.
"I have several people who have messaged me about kind of being dismissed (by) the current people that are on there -- and I'm not trying to throw jabs at people -- but just listening to people better, differently, whether it's before the meeting or after the meeting," he said.
Jungers was the final candidate to make it into the general election, coming in sixth of nine candidates in the Oct. 10 primary with 531 votes.