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5-year-old mayor loses re-election in Minnesota

| Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, 12:03 p.m.
This handout file photo provided by the Tufts family shows Mayor Robert 'Bobby' Tufts (right) shaking hands with a supporter in the tiny tourist town of Dorset, Minn. Tufts lost his bid for a third consecutive term as mayor of Dorset on Sunday, Aug. 4, 2014.
This handout file photo provided by the Tufts family shows Mayor Robert 'Bobby' Tufts (right) shaking hands with a supporter in the tiny tourist town of Dorset, Minn. Tufts lost his bid for a third consecutive term as mayor of Dorset on Sunday, Aug. 4, 2014.

DORSET, Minn. — A 5-year-old boy's run as mayor is over in a tiny tourist town in northern Minnesota.

Robert “Bobby” Tufts lost his bid for a third consecutive term as mayor of Dorset on Sunday. Eric Mueller, a 16-year-old from Mendota Heights, Minn., won when his name was drawn from the ballot box during the annual Taste of Dorset festival.

Bobby was only 3 when he was first elected mayor in 2012. Dorset, about 150 miles northwest of Minneapolis, has no formal city government and a population ranging from nine to 28.

“It was fun, but it's time to pass on the vote,” Bobby told The Associated Press by telephone Monday. Then he suggested his little brother get a shot at some point: “I'm gonna let James do it. He's 2.”

People can vote as many times as they like in the “election” — for $1 a vote — at ballot boxes in stores around town. The proceeds go toward organizing the festival.

Bobby said he was proud of his efforts to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley in Fargo, N.D. One of his other major acts was to declare ice cream top of the food pyramid.

His mother, Emma Tufts, said family members joked about having Bobby and James build up a political resume to prepare for a presidential run in 2048. But she said she's happy that Bobby will get a break. Now, for example, he can catch candy at parades rather than be the one throwing it.

“He really enjoyed being a kid in some festivals, not having to perform,” she said.

Eric, the new mayor, said he came up with the idea to run after he ate five fried ice creams at one sitting. He'll be a high school junior this fall.

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