Marie Young

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Marie K. Young
Born August 31, 1934
Occupation Escambia County Commissioner
District 3
Spouse James S. Young
Children James "Jay" Young, Jr.

Marie K. Young is the current County Commissioner for Escambia County District 3. Formerly a Pensacola City Council member representing District 7, she was appointed in 2002 by Governor Jeb Bush following the soccer complex corruption scandal and subsequent removal from office of Willie Junior and three other commissioners.

Early life & education career[edit]

Young was born in Pensacola on August 31, 1934, the youngest of five children. She received her bachelor's degree in elementary education from Florida A&M University in (date needed), then worked as a physical education teacher and basketball coach in Georgiana, Alabama. In anticipation of the 1955 Montgomery bus boycotts, she participated in twice-weekly boycott planning sessions at a local church, including several attended by Dr. Martin Luther King, whom she saw at the time as "just a regular preacher":

Marie Young
I couldn't see the total picture. When I moved back to Pensacola, I realized that I had been a part of history. I'd seen him, I shook hands with him, I'd sat in meetings with him.[1]
Marie Young

She later received her master's degree in elementary education from Atlanta University and certification in education leadership from UWF and FSU. She met the Rev. James S. Young at his church, Mount Canaan Baptist, and they were married on June 11, 1960.

Young's career in the Escambia County School District spanned nearly forty years and numerous positions ranging from art teacher to assistant director of Title I. She retired in 1994 and began working as an education consultant.

Political career[edit]

Young first ran for Pensacola City Council in 1995, but lost. At the urging of her friend Jacqueline Harris, she ran again in 1997 and won.

In 1999 she supported efforts by Movement for Change that eventually renamed a portion of Alcaniz Street for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She drew the ire of some black constituents, however, when she broke with fellow African-American council members and voted to elect John Fogg and Jack Nobles as mayor and mayor pro tem.

When four Escambia County Commissioners were removed from office in the soccer complex corruption scandal of 2002, Governor Jeb Bush appointed Young to the District 3 seat formerly held by Willie Junior. She was promptly elected by the other commissioners to serve as chairperson.

When Governor Bush made the appointments, he asked the four appointees to accept with the understanding that they would step down at the next election. He later released the candidates from this obligation, at the request of banker Tommy Tait, but Young was the only appointment who ran for election in 2004. Her challengers criticized her on this point during their campaigns: "She promised she was going to sit down, and she didn't," noted Republican candidate John R. "Dooley" Johnson.[2]

Young was affirmed to the seat by the election, becoming the first black woman to serve on the Commission.

She has filed for reelection and will face several challengers in the 2008 election.

Escambia County elections, 2004
DEM Marie Young 14,860
REP John R. "Dooley" Johnson 4,485
NPA Robert "Rocky" Boyd 1,090

Community involvement[edit]


  1. "40 years later, residents recall MLK's legacy." Pensacola News Journal, April 4, 2008.
  2. "Challengers seek change in Dist. 3." Pensacola News Journal, October 28, 2004.
Preceded by:
Sherman Robinson
Pensacola City Council, District 7
Succeeded by:
Ronald Townsend
Preceded by:
Willie Junior
Escambia County CommissionerDistrict 3
2002 – present