Teenager Wins Iowa Mayoral Race4:19 pm - 11/12/2011
AREDALE, Iowa — Eighteen-year-old Jeremy Minnier (muh-NEAR’) is in the high school band. He writes for the school newspaper. And he’s mayor-elect of his Iowa hometown.
Unofficial results from the Butler County elections office show the senior at Hampton Dumont High School was elected mayor of Aredale (AHR’-dayl) on Tuesday with 24 write-in votes. Incumbent Mayor Virgil Homer received eight votes.
Minnier told television station KIMT that he ran his write-in campaign because he thought the opinions of Aredale’s 73 residents were going unnoticed.
He says he’s planning to attend community college close to home next year so he can continue his mayoral duties throughout his four-year term. Minnier tells KWWL-TV (http://bit.ly/t98fPp ) he’s thinking about rural water and septic issues, and ways to improve the appearance of the town.
So Minnier was surprised not just to win, but also that he got three times the votes of the sitting mayor. And he hopes the community will continue to stand behind him, showing that even at 18, you can be a leader.
"A lot of people think 18 year olds are too young, you can't handle it. You're not interested in that stuff. Well, that's false. There's a lot of kids, young adults that are interested in this stuff. And we're the future," said Minnier.
In the small community of Aredale, there's not much to boast about. There's a post office, a couple of bars, and a bank. It's a place where you can literally walk down the middle of Main Street in the middle of the day. But mayor-elect Minnier still thinks he can accomplish big things here.
"We have some things with the DNR and their septic problems with everybody needing leech fields or needing pods put in their property for their septic. Another thing is rural water because we all have our own wells in Aredale. And there's also things we can just improve the overall appearance of the city and make it a place people like to come to," Minnier said.
Then maybe the mayor-to-be can encourage other young people to consider staying in their home communities to keep small Iowa towns like Aredale alive.
Minnier will officially begin his four-year mayoral term after being sworn in this January.
By the way, Minnier's dad is a former Aredale mayor and city councilman. The teen plans to continue living at home with his parents next year and commuting to college so he can take on the city's top job.