4-Year-Old Mayor Running Town After Name Drawn From Hat (Video)

Monday, 13 May 2013 01:14 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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The mayor of a small Minnesota town, who won the seat not after a lengthy political campaign but by having his name picked out of a hat, is 4-year-old Robert "Bobbie" Tufts.

Tufts, who sometimes patrols the streets with a large stick in hand, is the mayor of Dorset, Minn., a small community near Park Rapids with a population of just 22 people.

As per tradition, the mayor is chosen for a one-year term every summer at the Taste of Dorset festival. With no requirements — entrants don't even have to live in the town — people pay just $1 to have their name entered. At one point, a 5-year-old from Chicago was running the town, according to the New York Daily News.

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Dorset reportedly lost its town status years ago "when they took away the zip code," Kathy Schmidt, whose family has lived in the area for four generations, told the Daily News. Since then, town decisions are made by the businesses that operate there, not the mayor.

Tufts, who hasn't yet passed kindergarten, enjoys singing, dancing, and fishing. He has a girlfriend named Sophia.

"He's amazing. He's just completely amazing," Schmidt said of Tufts. "He's right in your face and well-spoken. You can't imagine what a ball of fire he is."

Online reaction to the 4-year-old mayor poked fun at the comparisons to real politicians.

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"Well, he'll fit right in with the temperament of most politicians these days," one commenter wrote on NPR. "A tantrum here, a time-out there — who knows, maybe he'll turn out to be a decent person in office and teach his 'peers' a thing or two." 

"Can't do any worse than most elected adults," another user posted. "Unless he can be bribed with candy and video games."

Related stories:

33-Year-Old GM Hired by NBA Phoenix Suns Was Celtics Exec

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