State briefs: 5-year-old mayor loses re-election

  • Updated: August 9, 2014 - 5:02 PM

DORSET

5-year-old mayor loses third term in city election

Robert “Bobby” Tufts, age 5, lost his bid for a third term as mayor this past week. Instead, voters at the Taste of Dorset festival threw their support behind a candidate three times his age — 16-year-old Eric Mueller.

Despite losing the office he’d held for almost half his life, Tufts accepted his first electoral defeat with grace.

“It was fun, but it’s time to pass on the vote,” Bobby told the Associated Press. That next generation? His little brother. “I’m gonna let James do it. He’s 2.”

Bobby leaves behind a record of mayoral accomplishments that include tossing candy at parades and moving ice cream to the top of the food pyramid, the AP reports. He also leveraged the publicity his election generated to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley in Fargo.

Dorset, with a population of around 25, has no formal government and its mayoral elections are a decidedly informal affair. Taste of Dorset festivalgoers pay $1 per ballot and can vote as often as they like, with all the proceeds going to support the festival.

Mayor Bobby worked the crowds, glad-handing in a tiny tie and fedora, but Mueller’s name was pulled out of the hat. The high school junior from Mendota Heights told the AP that the idea to run for higher office came after eating five fried ice creams in a row.

JENNIFER BROOKS @stribrooks

LAKE LILLIAN

Owner charged with arson

The owner of the K & M Liquor Store in Lake Lillian set the fire that destroyed the building in September 2013, investigators say.

Mary Sue Whitcomb, 51, of rural Atwater, was charged Monday in Kandiyohi County District Court with second-degree arson and insurance fraud, both felonies. The charges allege that the liquor store was losing money and attempts to sell it had failed.

Whitcomb told investigators that she locked up at 9 p.m. on the night of the fire. “The fire was detected within 15 minutes of Whitcomb’s exit,” the charges say. Experts determined that the fire started in the bathroom with a match or a lighter.

JENNA ROSS @ByJenna

MANKATO

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