Arkansas Municipality Elects Nation’s Youngest Black Mayor
Tuesday night, voters in the Arkansas town of Earle elected the country’s youngest Black mayor in a runoff election.
Jaylen Smith, age 18, is a recent Earle High School alumnus. In January, he will be the mayor of the roughly 2,000-person city of Earle.
According to the election results, Smith received 218 votes and Nemi Matthews Sr. received 139 votes.
Tuesday, Smith proclaimed his victory on Facebook.
“It’s official, Earle, Arkansas residents!! “I am your newly elected Earle, Arkansas mayor,” Smith wrote. “‘It’s Time to Rewrite the Story of Earle, Arkansas'” I would want to thank all of my supporters for their efforts to increase voter turnout. I am truly grateful to each of you.”
According to WKRC, Smith’s priorities as mayor include enhancing public safety and transportation, demolishing abandoned homes, and bringing a grocery store to the city.
Matthews, a thirty-year street superintendent, told WKRC that he and the 18-year-old are buddies and that their families have known each other for decades.
Matthews stated, “There is absolutely no enmity between me and Jaylen.” Everything has gone smoothly. If I can help him with anything, I will, and vice versa.”
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According to Smith’s Facebook, he took different leadership posts throughout middle and high school, including the presidency of the student government organization at his school.
Smith adds, “I believe my purpose from God is to advocate for those who are too terrified to argue for themselves.” “The ultimate objective is to provide aid, affection, and care. Consequently, I am a youth leader in my community.
This position requires me to recruit young adults into my program or group and persuade them to become community leaders. I do what I do because I was raised to love, assist, and care for those who find it difficult to care for themselves.
I usually tell others, “I have faith in you.” This is meaningful to me because it is uncommonly heard. I want everyone to realize that everything is possible if you set your mind to it.”
Smith also reveals that he is enrolled in special education; he stated that he was diagnosed with a learning problem at a young age.
Smith stated, “This impairment does not limit what I am able to do.” In fact, it inspires me to achieve greatness even more. In addition, I felt ashamed to take special education classes, but I had to accept that I cannot change who I am.
According to Smith, his inability to attain high scores on standardized examinations prevents him from enrolling in top institutions and universities. He stated, however, that he intends to assist people around the nation.
“I met with my state legislator and my state representative.
Smith continued, “I have also had the opportunity to meet with the Governor of the State of Arkansas to discuss the State Educational System, Student Voice, state economy, and advice on how to be a great political asset as mayor.”