18-year-old running for mayor in Arkansas

EARLE, Ark. — An 18-year-old running for mayor in Earle, Arkansas said he could become the youngest black city mayor in the United States.

“When somebody tells me ‘no,’ I don’t stop just because someone tells me ‘no.’ There’s always someone waiting to tell you ‘yes,’” said Jaylen Smith, the 18-year-old mayoral candidate.

Smith recently graduated from high school, still lives at home with his parents, and advanced from the mayoral primary to a runoff election.

“First, I want to improve public safety here.  Secondly, tear down abandoned houses … transportation here for the community, bring a grocery store here,” said Smith.

Smith is running against Nemi Matthews Sr, the street superintendent of Earle.

Matthews also works as a lieutenant in the city’s police department.

Matthews has worked for the city of Earle for more than 40 years.

He has worked as a street superintendent for 30 years.

“Police protection, better fire protection, because our citizens deserve it,” said Matthews when asked about his plans for improving the city of Earle.

Matthews said he and Smith have known each other for years and their families are acquainted.

“Everything has been cordial.  If I can help him, I would and likewise with him,” said Matthews.

Voters will head to the polls to vote for their mayoral candidates on Dec. 6.