VISTA, Calif. - He is young, driven and after an election night surprise, he is ready to help lead the city of Vista. On Wednesday, 26-year-old Cody Campbell began his first day of work as a councilman in Vista.
"I was elated and excited to get to work," Campbell told 10News.
He was sworn into office Tuesday night, along with newly-elected councilwoman Amanda Rigby.
The journey to this point has been two decades in the making.
At age 5, during the 1992 presidential debates, he announced to his parents he supported Ross Perot.
In high school, Campbell was elected student representative to the school board before being appointed to the city's planning board.
"As far as I can remember, I recall the political process as a way to make a difference," he said.
Several years ago, Campbell formed a political consulting business before wading into a crowded city council race with eight other candidates, including incumbent Frank Lopez.
"I did get comments occasionally like, 'you're too young to run or you're too young to be on the council,'" he said.
Those concerns faded when he flashed his knowledge at forums and events on the campaign trail.
As a Democrat running for a nonpartisan position, Campbell delivered a nonpartisan message of job growth, efficient government and protecting public safety. He made a lot of phone calls and knocked on plenty of doors. It worked, since he notched a surprising victory.
It is day one on the job and already Campbell is preparing a policy measure that will be introduced in council chambers.
While more details are forthcoming, the measure would ensure that the city – in many cases – would buy American products and services as well as local goods.
"Local government can work for the people… that's what I want to show," said Campbell.
For now, Campbell is the youngest councilmember in the area. A 26-year-old San Marcos City Council candidate trailed by 172 votes, with votes still being counted.