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Youngest Black mayor in the U.S. takes office in Earle, Arkansas

Mayor Jaylen Smith had his swearing-in ceremony at the Crittenden County Courthouse Sunday.
Credit: Jaylen Smith

EARLE, Ark. — The youngest elected Black mayor in the U.S. officially took office Sunday, new Earle, Arkansas, Mayor Jaylen Smith announced on social media. 

The City of Earle elected the 18-year-old to be the next mayor in a run-off election on Dec. 6.

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.

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