The new mayor of a small town in the northeastern region of the state of Arkansas, in the United States, is an 18-year-old college student.
Jaylen Smith won a runoff election to become the mayor of Earle on Tuesday, according to American media outlets like Little Rock, Arkansas’s KATV.
According to complete but unofficial results, Nemi Matthews received 183 votes, while Jaylen Smith received 235.
In May, the college student received his diploma from Earle High School.
He told KATV that his participation in the student government at his school served as motivation for him to run for office.
People are pleading for change, and he declared, “I want to be the change to move Earle forward.”
Smith acknowledged that some voters found it difficult to accept him because of his advanced age.
In his election campaign, Smith promised to increase public safety and attract new businesses, including a grocery store, to the 1,800-person city located 25 miles (40 kilometers) northwest of Memphis, Tennessee.
According to Cymone Poole, she voted for Smith. She told KATV that despite his youth, Smith made an impression on her.
“Just him has it. He walks, talks, and is dressed a certain way, for example. You see, he’s just born to be the leader.”
He would be the youngest member of the African American Mayors Association and one of the youngest mayors ever elected in the United States.
The association’s chief executive officer, Phyllis Dickerson, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that Justin Bibb, the 35-year-old mayor of Cleveland, is currently its youngest member.
Michael Sessions, who was elected mayor of Hillsdale, Michigan, in 2005 at the age of 18, and John Tyler Hammons, who was elected mayor of Muskogee, Oklahoma, in 2008 at the age of 19, are two other examples of people who were elected mayor before turning 20.
Smith will take the oath of office on January 1 and begin a four-year term, according to KATV.