Earle, Arkansas has a new mayor. In a few years, he’ll be able to legally sip some champagne to celebrate. That’s because the town’s new mayor is 18-year-old Jaylen Smith, who was a senior in the local high school six months ago.
CNN reports Smith defeated the town’s street and sanitation superintendent by a 235-185 vote to lead the 1,831 people of Earle for the next four years. To prepare for the job which he takes in early January, Smith is calling mayors across the state as well as working with Frank Scott Jr., the mayor of Little Rock and the head of the African American Mayors Association.
Smith ran on a platform to clear the abandoned homes in town that has lost about half its population in the last 30 years. He also wants to have a police force that operates 24 hours per day and implement public transportation routes to the area’s grocery stores.
“I’m excited for Jaylen and the entire community in Earle as he becomes the youngest-ever African American mayor elected in the country. I’m proud of his willingness to enter into public service at such a young age and his aspirational goals for the City,” said Scott.