Published on Friday, 12 July 2013 00:00
For 4-year-old Bobby Tufts, he does not just preside over his action figures and determine their course of actions, he gets to play with real-life people too and supervise them as he is the mayor of Dorset, Minnesota.
For the tiny mayor of the tiny town with a population of 26, political power is already going to Mayor Tufts’ head. He is making use of his high office position to give hugs and get free ice cream.
“His biggest perks are that he gets to give hugs and gets lots of free ice cream,” his mother, Emma Tufts said.
Bobby became the mayor of Dorset, Minnesota in August 2012 when he was only 3 years old after his name was selected at random out of a hat at the annual “Taste of Dorset” festival. Participants pay a US$1 ballot fee for their names to be placed in the hat during the yearly mayoral election at the festival. The Mayor of Dorset is actually just a symbolic figure as the town is really run by a group of five local business owners.
“He ran an actual campaign,” Mummy Tufts said. “All the waitresses at the Dorset House and some at Campaneros were wearing buttons with his campaign picture that said, ‘Vote for Bobby!’ and we had posters all over town. I don’t know how many votes he had in the hat, but a lot of the customers were voting him in.”
After Bobby was elected mayor, he was presented with an oak wood plaque symbolizing the key to the city and various store vouchers from all the local businesses.
Like many other mayors, except for Arnold Schwarzenegger who enjoys busting asses, Bobby’s favourite hobbies are fishing and rock climbing. Bobby became famous throughout America when he took part in the annual Governor’s Fishing Opener on 9 May in Park Rapids, Minnesota.
When he is not busy with his two preferred activities, the pint-sized politician can be found making his rounds in the little town.
“He’s pretty much a celebrity around town when he walks in to Dorset House and other places, because he knows all the waitresses,” Emma Tufts said proudly. “He’s very charming. For him, it’s just another day. He thinks it’s just part of being mayor. Even before all the publicity, the local people really knew who he was.”
Bobby better look out though, because the power and enchantment he wields over the people of Dorset can fall as quickly as it rose. He might go up against another little charmer next year and he should prepare for an intense political battle.
“He has a 15-month-old brother. Maybe he’ll run next year,” Emma Tufts said.
May the best toddler win.