An 18-year-old black college student, Jaylen Smith has been elected to serve as mayor of a county in Arkansas City in the United States, making him one of the youngest to serve as a city’s top leader in the US.
Smith who was elected mayor of Earle in a runoff election on Tuesday runoff, won with 235 votes to defeat his rival, Nemi Matthews, who got 183 votes, according to official results released on Thursday.
The African-American student is officially among the youngest mayors elected in the United States and would be the youngest member of the African-American Mayors Association, according to Chief Executive Officer of the association, Phyllis Dickerson.
Dickerson told reporters on Friday that the association’s current youngest member is Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, who is 35.
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, the Arkansas Gazette reports.
“Smith, who graduated from Earle High School in May, campaigned on improving public safety and bringing new businesses, including a grocery store, to the city of about 1,800 people 25 miles (40 kilometers) northwest of Memphis, Tennessee. He is a student at Arkansas State University Mid-South in West Memphis, Arkansas,” the Gazzete said.
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