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Arkansas town elects youngest Black mayor in America

The City of Earle has elected its next mayor, 18-year-old Jaylen Smith.

EARLE, Ark. — The City of Earle has elected an 18-year-old to be the next mayor, who will become the youngest Black mayor in America.

Citizens went to the poll on Dec. 6 to decide the city's next mayor in a runoff election.

Jaylen Smith celebrated the win on his Facebook page, saying "it's time to build a better chapter of Earle, Arkansas."

Smith thanked his supporters for their efforts. He graduated high school in May 2022 and is currently attending Arkansas State University Mid-South.

He promises to improve public safety in the small town near Memphis. Smith also wants to tear down abandoned houses and open up a grocery store.

Nemi Matthews, who lost the race against Smith, congratulated him and wished him well.

Smith received 235 votes to Matthews' 183, according to the Associated Press.

Roughly 1,800 people live in Earle, according to 2020 census data.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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