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“A better chapter“: 18-year-old man elected mayor of Arkansas town

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Jaylen Smith, who counts his high school graduation earlier this year among his top accomplishments, can now add one more: election as mayor of small-town Earle, Arkansas, at the age of 18.

Smith beat out Nemi Matthews, superintendent of sanitation and streets in Earle, by a margin of 235 to 183 votes on Tuesday, according to local media.

The town, located in eastern Arkansas, about 30 miles west of the Mississippi River and Memphis, Tennessee, has a population of 1,831, according to the 2020 census.

“It’s Time to Build a Better Chapter of Earle, Arkansas,” Smith said on his Facebook page following the Election Night victory, echoing his campaign slogan and thanking his supporters.

“My mom can’t stop crying,” Smith told the Washington Post on Wednesday.

During the campaign Smith, who graduated from Earle High School in May, called for improving public safety, restoring or removing abandoned homes and buildings and implementing new emergency preparedness plans.

“Why should I have to be great somewhere else when I could be great in Earle, Arkansas?” he told the Post.

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