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HomeUS NewsArkansas city elects 18-year-old college student as mayor

Arkansas city elects 18-year-old college student as mayor

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EARLE, Ark. — An 18-year-old college student has been elected to serve as mayor of a small east Arkansas city, becoming one of the youngest people to serve as a city’s top leader in the U.S.

Jaylen Smith was elected mayor of Earle in Tuesday’s runoff election, winning 235 votes to Nemi Matthews’ 183, according to complete but unofficial results.

He’s among the youngest mayors elected in the United States and would be the youngest member of the African American Mayors Association.

Phyllis Dickerson, chief executive officer of the association, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the association’s current youngest member is Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, who is 35.

Jaylen Smith, 18-year-old mayor of Earle, Ark., at the Arkansas Black Mayors Association 50th Anniversary Gala, held Sept. 10, 2022 in Little Rock. The 18-year-old college student has been elected to serve as mayor of a small east Arkansas city, becoming one of the youngest people to serve as a city's top leader in the United States.

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Smith is among a handful of people elected mayor before turning 20, including Michael Sessions, who was elected mayor of Hillsdale, Michigan, in 2005 when he was 18; and John Tyler Hammons, who was elected mayor of Muskogee, Oklahoma, in 2008 when he was 19.

Story Credit: usatoday.com

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