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5-year-old mayor loses election

Posted by: Jennifer Brooks under People Updated: August 5, 2014 - 11:09 AM

Minnesota's youngest mayor is now its youngest ex-mayor.

Robert "Bobby" Tufts, age 5, lost his bid for a third term as mayor of tiny Dorset, Minn., this Sunday. 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. He's ready to pass the political mantle to the 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 festival-goers 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, gladhandling in a tiny tie and fedora, but this was Eric Mueller's year. When the time came to pull the winning mayor's name out of a hat, the honor went to the high school junior from Mendota Heights, who told the AP that the idea to run for higher office came to him after he ate five fried ice creams in a row.

For now, Bobby's mother, Emma Tufts, says her son is looking forward to being just another kid in the crowd at the festival, catching candy instead of throwing it.

"He really enjoyed being a kid in some festivals, not having to perform," she told the AP.

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