4-Year-Old Is Elected Mayor

Bobby accepting his key to the city with the Governor and Lt. Governor of Minnesota (Photo by Littlehawk Photography)
Bobby accepting his key to the city with the Governor and Lt. Governor of Minnesota (Photo by Littlehawk Photography)

Being a politician is no easy gig—just ask 4-year-old Dorset, Minnesota mayor Robert "Bobby" Tufts.

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Although the story only made national headlines on Friday after a local news team covered a fishing event near Dorset and discovered the pint-size politician, for Bobby, who was elected last August, it's just business as usual. He was named mayor at the town’s “Taste of Dorset” festival after would-be candidates who live in and around Dorset paid the $1 ballot charge to throw their names into a hat. The seasonal town, which boasts only 26 residents and 14 businesses, elects a new mayor every year from a pool of campaigning candidates who in the past have included chickens and cats.

According to Bobby’s mom, 34-year-old Emma Tufts, the toddler ran a two-month campaign starting in late June 2012, visiting local restaurants and handing out pins with his photo imprinted that read, “Vote for Bobby!” In August, his name was picked out of a hat. “He was so excited and told everyone at daycare that he was going to be mayor forever,” Tufts told Yahoo! Shine.

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As a prize, Bobby received a gift certificate from every business in town and an oak plaque that represented a key to the city. “He wears the title proudly and right now, I don't mind the attention he is getting, it's sort of fun,” says Tufts. “The other day, he was signing autographs."

When Bobby’s not fishing, rock climbing, snow shoeing, or hanging out with his girlfriend Sophia, he can be spotted at the local restaurants, especially local soda fountain where he orders chocolate ice cream. “He’s pretty precocious and gets a lot of attention when he goes out,” local resident Sally Wizik Wills, 64, owner of Sister Wolf Books told Yahoo! Shine. “He’s a good ambassador for Dorset.”

Will Bobby take a cue from “Parks and Recreation” former teenage mayor Ben Wyatt and continue his career in politics when his gig ends in August? “We’re not sure,” says Tufts. “I’d like to give his 15-month-old brother a chance to run, but Bobby may be a politician. He’s very opinionated and very charming.”

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