Buckeye Beat: Ohio Teen Runs for Mayor

NATS OF SCHOOL BELL:

AT LANCASTER HIGH SCHOOL IT'S LUNCHTIME

HOW YOU DOING GUYS?  A TIME FOR CLAYTON LUNSFORD

NATS: HEY GUYS!

TO BE A TEENAGER

NATS OF CLAYTON: NOW THEY'RE GOING TO GET SOME SHOTS OF ME STRUGGLING
TO OPEN FRUIT SNACKS.

BUT THIS TEENAGER...

NATS OF CLAYTON: YES, YES I AM - I'M A JUNIOR.

ABOUT TO DO SOME VERY GROWN UP THINGS.  HE'S WATCHED FOR MORE THAN A YEAR - AS THE CITY OF LANCASTER - HAS
STRUGGLED WITH ITS CITY GOVERNMENT AND FORMER LEADERSHIP UNDER BRIAN KUHN.

CLAYTON LUNDSFORD / LANCASTER MAYOR CANDIDATE: I IMMEDIATELY THOUGHT HE'S PROBABLY GOING TO BE OUT OF OFFICE - THERE'S PROBABLY GOING TO BE A SPECIAL ELECTION AND I IMMEDIATELY THOUGHT, YOU KNOW, MAYBE I COULD RUN.

YEAH, YOU HEARD THAT RIGHT
NATS: NO, IT IS NOT A JOKE.

NO JOKE - LUNSFORD COULD BE - THE NEXT MAYOR OF LANCASTER

CLAYTON LUNSFORD / LANCASTER MAYOR CANDIDATE: I THOUGHT THAT LANCASTER COULD USE A CHANGE AND I COULD BE THAT CHANGE.

IN FEBRUARY - HE FILED THE PAPERWORK WITH THE FAIRFIELD COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS - AND THEN WENT DOOR TO DOOR - GATHERING MORE THAN 120
SIGNATURES TO SUPPORT HIM AS AN INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE IN NOVEMBER'S SPECIAL ELECTION.

I WANT TO BE THE MOST ACCESSIBLE CANDIDATE OUT THERE. I WANT PEOPLE TO BE ABLE TO TALK TO ME AND TELL ME THEIR PROBLEMS, SO THAT WE CAN GET THEM
RESOLVED.

HIS PLATFORM IS TO FIX CITY INFRASTRUCTURE - PAYING FOR IT BY CONSOLIDATING GOVERNMENT.

HE ALSO WANTS TO FIX, WHAT HE CALLS, THE CITY'S ONGOING DRUG PROBLEM

THOMAS STEDMAN / LUNSFORD TEACHER: CERTAINLY, THIS IS A FIRST FOR SOMEONE WHILE THEY'RE IN SCHOOL.

LUNSFORD'S AP GOVERNMENT CLASS TEACHER, THOMAS STEDMAN - SAYS THEY ALWAYS TALK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF TODAY'S YOUTH GETTING INVOLVED.
AND, EVEN THOUGH HE'S YOUNG AND INEXPERIENCED - THERE ARE OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER

THOMAS STEDMAN / LUNSFORD TEACHER: I THINK MORE IMPORTANT IS THE FACT THAT IF YOU WANT TO GET OUT THERE AND GET YOUR FEET WET AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE. I DON'T THINK IT REALLY MATTERS HOW OLD YOU ARE OR HOW MUCH POLITICAL EXPERIENCE THAT YOU HAVE.

LUNSFORD SAYS HE KNOWS IT'S AN UPHILL BATTLE - HE'LL BE CALLED A KID - HE'LL BE CALLED INEXPERIENCED... HE CALLS THAT...

NATS OF CLAYTON: DEFINITELY. MOTIVATION
NATS OF CLAYTON: YES, ABSOLUTELY.

BROUGHT ON BY HIS FATHER

CLAYTON LUNSFORD / LANCASTER MAYOR CANDIDATE: AND HE REALLY PUT AN EMPHASIS ON TAKE CRITICISM WITH A GRAIN OF SALT - BUT
ALWAYS USE IT TO BETTER YOURSELF. HIS PLAN - STICK TO THE MESSAGE.

CLAYTON LUNSFORD / LANCASTER MAYOR CANDIDATE: AND WE'RE JUST GONNA GO OUT THERE - WE'RE GONNA SPREAD THE MESSAGE AND
WE'RE GONNA TRY TO WIN.

A MESSAGE - OF WHAT HE CALLS - POSITIVE CHANGE.

THE STATE OF OHIO REQUIRES THAT YOU BE AT LEAST 18 YEARS OLD TO BE MAYOR – AND LUNSFORD TURNS 18 IN AUGUST, MAKING HIM ELIGIBLE.
AND RIGHT NOW, HE IS THE ONLY CANDIDATE IN THE RACE.

Instructional Links

Website: Lancaster, Ohio

Magazine Article: US News & World Report, High School Student, 17, Running for Mayor of Ohio City

Website Article: Wikipedia, Age of Candidacy Laws in the U.S.

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