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Recent Arkansas high school graduate elected youngest Black mayor in U.S.

18-year-old mayor-elect makes history
18-year-old Jaylen Smith makes history as mayor-elect of Earle, Arkansas 03:14

A small Arkansas city has elected the youngest Black mayor in the U.S. On Tuesday, 18-year-old Jaylen Smith was elected mayor of Earle, Arkansas, a town of fewer than 2,000 people.

"Citizens of Earle, Arkansas, it's official!! I am your newly elected Mayor of Earle, Arkansas…  'It's Time to Build a Better Chapter of Earle, Arkansas.' I would like to thank all my supporters for stepping up getting people to the polls. I am truly grateful for you all," Smith, a Democrat, wrote on Facebook.

Smith defeated Nemi Matthews, who serves as the town's street superintendent and sanitation superintendent, according to the Arkansas Municipal League, in a runoff election Tuesday.

Matthews congratulated Smith on his win and wished him good luck. 

"Good evening citizens of Earle. First I want to Thank everyone that supported me during this entire election. Secondly I congratulate Mayor elect Jaylen Smith for a well ran race I wish you well. Again Thanks!!!" he wrote on Facebook.

Smith ran on improving public safety, repairing the city's drainage systems and addressing abandoned houses and community involvement. 

Citizens of Earle, Arkansas, it’s official!! I am your newly elected Mayor of Earle, Arkansas… “It’s Time to Build a...

Posted by Jaylen Smith on Tuesday, December 6, 2022

A native of Earle, Smith recently graduated from Earle High School and served in leadership positions in multiple clubs and as president of his school's student government association for three years, he said on Facebook. 

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