Ark. teen hopes to become youngest Black mayor in U.S.

Ark. teen hopes to become youngest Black mayor in U.S.
Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 6:19 PM CDT
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EARLE, Ark. (WMC) - One recent high school graduate in Earle, Arkansas, plans to run for mayor.

Jaylen Smith graduated from Earle High School in May of 2022. The 18-year-old said running for mayor is no different than any other first job experience.

“You know when you first get a job somewhere,” said Jaylen “You never know what you’re getting into. At any age you can do what you want.”

Smith said he’s very active in the community. He’s hosted citywide clean ups, water giveaways and food drives.

These programs are vital to what he believes, and he says that makes him a qualified candidate.

“I have what it takes as a first comer,” said Smith. “I want to get a lot done at this amount of time. I want to do what it takes to better the city of Earle, Arkansas.”

If elected, Smith will become the youngest Black mayor in the nation.

“I did it this year. Still, I want to do it and continue to do it,” said Smith. “I don’t want to go away and come back and do it.

I wanted to do it now to make a difference and leave a legacy for generations.”

Smith says if elected he plans to focus on public safety, housing, and building a grocery store in town.

Smith plans to continue his bachelor’s degree online at ASU Mid-South in Memphis, but if elected the city will be his main priority.

November 8 is election day.

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