18-Year-Old Mayor

As a graduate of Hillsdale College, the one-time co-host of a weekly sports talk show on farm radio WCSR, and former sports editor of the Hillsdale Daily News, I was highly amused to read this story in today’s Detroit News:

Michael Sessions’ political career had an inauspicious start: When he ran for student council this year, he lost.

Now he’s about to be mayor.

Sessions, an 18-year-old high school student, won a long-shot write-in campaign this week to oust Hillsdale’s 51-year-old mayor.

“I just thought I’d give it a shot,” Sessions said with a smile. “I hoped I’d win. But I didn’t really know what would happen.”

Driving into the tiny Southern Michigan county seat from almost any direction, you’ll encounter a sign that profoundly reads: “Welcome to Hillsdale – It’s the People.” Reading the news story will give you a glimpse of what kind of people inhabit Hillsdale. The apathetic outgoing mayor, the young write-in candidate, the three-man firefighters’ union… you’d think you were reading the plot line to an episode of a Bob Newhart spin-off series. The impression you get isn’t too far from reality.

But then you have to read the story for yourself, capped off by my former economics professor Gary Wolfram – most noted for his quiz story problems on dating & opportunity costs, as well as his frequent use of the borrowed Seinfeld quip, “not that there’s anything wrong with that” – adding a colorful quote:

Sessions said he wants to attend Hillsdale College next year to study political science; he hasn’t applied. It could leave college officials in an interesting situation. “If the president of the college wants to get a street re-paved,” Wolfram mused, “he’ll have to call a freshman.”

Read and enjoy, and then check out this update to the story.

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