WTF Fun Fact 12817 – The 3-Year-Old Mayor

In 2012, Dorset, Minnesota had a 3-year-old mayor. He even “won” reelection the following year. And no doubt the townspeople were relieved since he ran on a no-nonsense platform of “Be nice and no poopy talk.” If only other politicians could take a page from his campaign strategy.

How does a town get a 3-year-old mayor?

According to TODAY (back in 2015): “James became the ceremonial head of this northern Minnesota tourist town of about 22 people this month as his name was drawn from the ballot bucket at the annual Taste of Dorset food festival. It cost $1 for each vote cast.”

James is not the only pint-sized mayor the town has ever seen. TODAY also reported: “He hit the campaign trail running, with an experienced political adviser close at hand. His 6-year-old brother, Robert, who made national headlines when he served two terms as mayor at ages 3 and 4, taught him how to shake hands and look voters in the eye.”

A ceremonial position

Of course, the position is ceremonial. The tiny town is run by a small group of business owners.

But that doesn’t mean the mini-mayors don’t take their jobs seriously. According to ABC 7 News (cited below): “Both James and Robert Tufts have long been contributing members of their community, even at their young ages. The two often volunteer their time to help the Salvation Army, plant gardens, and raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.”

Robert said of James: “He doesn’t do too much mean stuff, and I taught him how to be nice.”

According to their mother, they “take it all in stride.” And neither has plans to go into politics long-term. Both boys wanted to be fishermen when they grow up last time they were asked.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “3-year-old James Tufts elected mayor of Minnesota town” — ABC 7 News

WTF Fun Fact 12660 – America’s First Female Mayor

America’s first woman mayor was put on the ballet by the men in Argonia, Kansas to run for the Prohibition Party.

Susanna Kinsey’s family came to Kansas from Kentucky. There, she met her husband Lewis Salter while attending the Kansas State Agricultural College. The couple moved to Argonia where they raised a family and Susanna became an officer in the local Woman’s Christian Temperance Union.

As a joke, the men in her town added her name to the ballot in 1887 for mayor and probably regretted their decision when she surprised them by winning 2/3 of the vote. They may have thought the joke was clever, but they were not. Women had earned the right to vote in city elections that very same year.

The other thing Argonia men failed to realize about Salter was that at 27, she actually had a lot of knowledge about politics. She was the daughter of the town’s very first mayor and the daughter-in-law of Kansas’ former lieutenant governor.

Salter performed her duties but never sought elected office. –  WTF fun facts

Source: “Susanna Madora Salter” – Kansapedia