Kid Mayor Out of a Job

Bobby Tufts, 5, loses bid for 3rd term in tiny Minn. town

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Aug 5, 2014 11:32 AM CDT

(Newser) – A 5-year-old boy's run as mayor is over in a tiny tourist town in northern Minnesota. Robert "Bobby" Tufts lost his bid for a third consecutive term as mayor of Dorset on Sunday. Eric Mueller, a 16-year-old from Mendota Heights, Minn., won when his name was drawn from the ballot box during the annual Taste of Dorset festival. Bobby was only 3 when he was first elected in 2012. Dorset, about 150 miles northwest of Minneapolis, has no formal city government and a population ranging from nine to 28. "It was fun, but it's time to pass on the vote," Bobby said yesterday, adding of his little brother: "I'm gonna let James do it. He's 2."

People can vote as many times as they like in the "election"—for $1 a vote—at ballot boxes in stores around town. The proceeds go toward organizing the festival. Bobby said he was proud of his efforts to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley; one of his other major acts was to declare ice cream top of the food pyramid. His mother, Emma Tufts, says she's happy that Bobby will get a break. Now, for example, he can catch candy at parades rather than be the one throwing it. "He really enjoyed being a kid in some festivals, not having to perform," she says. Eric, the new mayor, said he came up with the idea to run after he ate five fried ice creams at one sitting. He'll be a high school junior this fall.

Mayor Robert Bobby Tufts, right, shaking hands with a supporter in the tiny tourist town of Dorset, Minn. Bobby lost his bid for a third term as mayor of Dorset on Sunday, Aug. 4, 2014.
Mayor Robert "Bobby" Tufts, right, shaking hands with a supporter in the tiny tourist town of Dorset, Minn. Bobby lost his bid for a third term as mayor of Dorset on Sunday, Aug. 4, 2014.   (Emma Tufts)
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