Kyle Corbin: the 18-year-old mayor

KylecorbinIn Union, Oregon, they've got the nation's youngest mayor. Kyle Corbin, 18, was elected last fall -- as a write-in. From the Register-Guard:

Corbin was elected to a two-year term Nov. 7 with 46 percent of the vote in a three-man race. He ran an old-fashioned, door-to-door campaign as a write-in candidate last fall out of necessity; as a 17-year-old when he announced his intent to run in August, he was too young to be a registered voter and qualify for a spot on the ballot. His 399 votes topped the 271 received by outgoing City Councilor Scott Morrison, 59. A former city councilor, Dick Middleton, 64, finished with 200 votes.

How's he doing?

"Kyle is refreshing," says Gary Graham, 55, a former city councilor who lives in one of the century-old Victorian houses that line Main Street. "I'm already impressed with the way he's conducting meetings. They're orderly. He wants to find answers to things. He wants people to work together on things."

Why would the town of Union elect a kid as mayor? Well, things couldn't get worse:

Chaos has indeed reigned when it comes to city government. "The situation is very tough out there," says Jeff Dense, an associate professor of political science at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande.

"Recall is a sport out there," Dense says. "It's an annual rite. [Corbin's] success is going to be his ability to bargain and compromise with the forces out there."

Those forces recalled two longtime city councilors in 2004; indicted one police chief after another on criminal charges; elected Deborah Clark, the woman who led the recall effort, as mayor in 2004 and her husband, Roger Clark, as city councilor; recalled them both last year; and fired city administrator Joe Wrabek last fall. After all of that, the most recent police chief, Lee Bertsch, resigned last month, leaving the town without a law enforcement officer.

Read the rest of the in-depth profile here. Learn more about Union from wikipedia and the city's official website. Discuss.

  • Sponge (unverified)

    "Why would the town of Union elect a kid as mayor? Well, things couldn't get worse:"

    Now, there is a sorry state of affairs. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I wish him well. This experience will give him an education that no political science class could.

  • (Show?)

    that's an interesting story you have linked. thanks.

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