Dorset's Pint-Sized 'Mayor' Loses Re-Election Bid To 16-Year-Old

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While in most places a candidate has to be at least old enough to vote before he/she can stand for office, such is not the case in the tiny town of Dorset that lies 150 miles from the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota. In this unincorporated community that boasts a population of 28 and calls itself 'The Restaurant Capital of the World', everyone, regardless of gender, qualification, residency or age, can vie to become the honorary mayor. This means that even a toddler can be elected!

Just ask Dorset's outgoing mayor Robert 'Bobby' Tufts. The now five-year-old first became honorary mayor of this community in 2012, when he was merely three years old. He apparently did such a great job that he was re-elected the following year. In fact, the only reason Bobby 'lost' this year, was because his parents convinced him not to run and give someone else a chance. That lucky person turned out to be 16-year-old Mendota Heights resident, Eric Mueller, whose family often vacations in the area.

As you may have guessed, 'running' for office in Dorset does not mean giving lengthy campaign speeches and convincing voters. Here, in order to get elected all wannabe mayors have to do, is declare their candidacy and hope that the constituents (tourists visiting the town), vote for them.

Also, unlike the real election, supporters are allowed to vote numerous times as long as they pay a dollar each time. That's because the mayoral 'elections' that take place annually on the first Sunday of August during the community's popular Taste of Dorset festival, also double up as a fundraiser. Of course, given that the winning name is picked randomly from a big barrel means that multiple votes don't necessarily guarantee a win. But given that the tiny town doesn't really have a government and the fact that the position is largely ceremonial, nobody really cares.

So what is young Bobby going to do after two years in office? He has big plans that include starting kindergarten and serving as campaign advisor for his 2-year-old brother, James. The young boy says that his biggest achievements as Mayor of Dorset were raising money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities and, declaring ice cream to be at the top of the food chain - Now if only he had the power to make it a law!

Resources:dorsetmn.com,huffingtonpost.com,csmonitor.com

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