Jaylen Smith just graduated high school in May. Now, he is moving from the classroom to the mayor’s office as the 18-year-old has officially been elected as the mayor of Earle, Arkansas. With this win, Smith has made history as the youngest Black mayor elected ever in the United States.
“I didn’t run to make a name for myself,” Smith recently told CNN in an interview regarding his win. “I ran because I wanted to help my community and move my community in the direction that it needed to be moved in.”
When the young Democrat was in the process of running for office, he made sure that his community knew exactly the focus of his platform and vision for his term in office.
“First, I want to improve public safety here,” Smith said in an interview at the time with Fox13. “Secondly, tear down abandoned houses … transportation here for the community, bring a grocery store here”
According to CNN there are only 1,831 residents in Earle, Arkansas. The popular news outlet continued, stating that the young politician defeated his opponent, Nemi Matthews, the city’s street and sanitation superintendent, by 235 votes to 185. The results were unofficial from the Crittenden County Clerk’s office and the information was relayed to CNN by Patrick Robinson, a probate clerk.
#NEWS: Jaylen Smith, 18, will be the next mayor of Earle, AR.
— Andrew Epperson (@eppersports) December 7, 2022
While preparing for the election, Smith had the opportunity to meet with not only other mayors from his state, but he also met with Asa Hutchinson, the governor of Arkansas, as well to gain as much advice as he could.
Upon hearing of Smith’s win, the Little Rock, AK mayor, Frank Scott Jr. was elated for the young man.
“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”
Congratulations, mayor-elect, Smith. We are all rooting for you and cannot wait to see what the future holds for you!
Photo Credit(s)/Featured Image: Jaylen Smith Instagram