He's 16. And he's the mayor of his town. Five-year-old Bobby Tufts appears below, left. Eric Mueller, 16, appears below (AP photo / Facebook)
He's 16. And he's the mayor of his town.
Lexile

A 5-year-old boy's run as mayor is over in a tiny tourist town in northern Minnesota.

Robert "Bobby" Tufts lost his bid for a third term as mayor of Dorset on Sunday. Eric Mueller, a 16-year-old from Mendota Heights, Minnesota, won. His name was drawn from the ballot box during the annual Taste of Dorset festival.

Bobby was only 3 when he was first elected mayor in 2012. Dorset, about 150 miles northwest of Minneapolis, has no formal city government and a population ranging from nine to 28.

"It was fun, but it's time to pass on the vote," Bobby said. Then he suggested his little brother get a shot at some point: "I'm gonna let James do it. He's 2."

People can vote as many times as they like in the "election" for $1 a vote at ballot boxes in stores around town. The proceeds go toward organizing the festival.

As mayor, Bobby said he was proud of his efforts to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley in Fargo, North Dakota. One of his other major acts was to declare ice cream top of the food pyramid.

His mother, Emma Tufts, said family members joked about having Bobby and James build up a political resume to prepare for a presidential run in 2048. But she said she's happy that Bobby will get a break.

Critical thinking challenge: Why can Dorset allow such a young mayor?

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COMMENTS (119)
  • Ashley0207-yyca
    8/07/2014 - 02:47 p.m.

    I think this is very weird because a 16 years old boy can't be a mayor of his town. You have to be 30 or 39 to be a mayor. It is very surprising to have a 16 year old to be a mayor in his own town. I am surprised because a mayor in the town in another country is 16 years old. If I had that young mayor in my country I would be very shocked.

  • lesliaedo
    8/07/2014 - 07:35 p.m.

    Summary: A 5-year-old boy known as Bobby, was defeated in the elections at Dorset on Sunday to continue being mayor of that place. His opponent, a 16-year-old called Eric, won. However, Bobby's work was remarkable since he could raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. His mother is happy because he can finally have the possibility to have a break.

    Comment: Under my point of view, it is very funny to know that in other countries, especially some small areas, the possibility to choose a kid as mayor does exist. It is something pretty unusual, but completely worth to know and share.

  • tcastleberry
    8/14/2014 - 12:59 p.m.

    Wow! 16 and 5 year old mayors I wish I lived in that town. You have to think what would happen if they passed laws that could get bad that would be interesting to see what would happen. I think its a bad idea though because they can have high political power though which can be dangerous. It would be cool to have that power to think about that is cool. I like the story in general I think of it fake but it could be true.

  • Re'neisha
    8/19/2014 - 08:25 a.m.

    that cool if a 5 year old child is the mayor of his own town . The thing about it is that how can a 5 year old run a town , thats weird . he was only 3 when he got seleceted

  • matthewspires650@yahoo.com
    8/19/2014 - 08:59 a.m.

    The only reason the people of Mendota Heights, Minnesota elected a 3 year old boy was because , his older brother had suggested that his 2 year old brother should have a shot at some point . People can vote as many times as they like in the election - for $1 a vote - at ballot boxes in stores around town. The proceeds go toward organizing the festival. As mayor Bobby said he was proud of his efforts to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley in Fargo, North Dakota. One of his other major acts was to declare ice cream top of the food pyramid.

  • 19Parker-May
    8/19/2014 - 02:23 p.m.

    Would would let there 5 year old son be the mayor of the town that would be wierd i bet he wouldnt be a good mayor because he only five and doesent know much.

  • KateyN-Moo
    8/22/2014 - 12:04 p.m.

    I think having kids as mayor in small towns is a fun and exciting idea! Imagine being able to tell your friends when you're an adult that you were the mayor of your town at 3 years old!

  • JamiG-Moo
    8/22/2014 - 12:05 p.m.

    I think it's cute that a little kid is mayor!! But I don't think that would be good for a little kid, because it may go to his head that he's in charge! I wonder what rules he has made!

  • DylanV-Moo
    8/22/2014 - 02:47 p.m.

    I think it is a neat thing for a child to get to be mayor. The younger you are the more creative and funny you are. So that they can raise more money with their creative ideas in the town. The they might know what the would want to be when they get older. Its good for the child and the town!

  • loganf-Wya
    9/05/2014 - 11:05 a.m.

    Why in the world would you put ice cream at the top of the food chain! What I am trying to say is that everyone that is living in that really small town is going to gain 50 lbs. no offense intended in that last remark.

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