Five-year-old Minnesota 'mayor' loses bid for third term

Tue Aug 5, 2014 1:49pm EDT

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(Reuters) - Robert Tufts lost election for a third term as honorary mayor of an unofficial northern Minnesota town but he took the defeat in stride and is looking forward to kindergarten, his mother said on Tuesday.

Robert, who is 5 years old, did not campaign this year for mayor of Dorset, which picks an honorary leader in a drawing each August during its Taste of Dorset festival, Emma Tufts said.

"We explained to him the importance of letting someone else have a turn," she said in an email. "He understood but as with anyone, still hoped he would win."

Robert, who lives near Dorset and had won the mayoral drawing the previous two years, pulled the name of his successor, Eric Mueller, 16, of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, from a big barrel on Sunday, said Kathy Schmidt, president of Dorset's business association.

Dorset, which has a population of about 22 and is approximately 160 miles north of Minneapolis, allows anyone to run for its unofficial mayor. Voters pay $1 per ballot to have their favored candidate's name put in the barrel.

Proceeds are used for the festival and voting early and often is encouraged, Schmidt said.

"We prefer voter fraud just as much as we can," Schmidt said. "We only care about the dollar."

Tufts said there has already been talk about Robert serving as a campaign adviser for next year's election.

"He hasn't had it hit him totally," Tufts said. "But he has bigger and better plans."

(Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing by Bill Trott)

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