I was very intrigued when I learned a local college student was running for mayor. Nineteen year old Nicole Burlew, a junior at Towson University majoring in Political Science, is running for mayor of Aberdeen, MD. Aberdeen is a city located in Hartford County with a population of approximately 13,842 according to the 2000 Census. Burlew is running against incumbent Mayor Fred Simmons, and Michael Bennett, a retired state trooper. She supports raises for the police officers in Aberdeen, advocating using revenue from Ripken Stadium for the city, and giving tax breaks to senior citizens.
Although she has never voted and her only leadership position has been as Vice President of the Spanish club, Burlew is very serious about becoming mayor. She feels that her age does not matter. She wants to make a difference and her passion should outweigh her age. A teenager running for office is not that all unusual, and it is possible for one to win. Kyle Corbin, 18, and Michael Sessions, 20, are living proof of this; Corbin is the mayor of Union, Oregon and Sessions is the mayor of Hillsdale, Michigan.
Her choice to run has already impressed Brian Young, president of the Harford County Young Republicans and Paul McCartney, professor of Political Science at Towson University. Brian Young commends Burlew for identifying the issues that prompted her candidacy and her ability to discuss those issues with intelligence and passion. He thinks her willingness to discuss how to improve Aberdeen with anyone who has ideas that could benefit the city would make her a mayor that could serve the citizens well. Young also said he would like to see more young people take the initiative and play a role in their community’s government. He thinks Nicole is leading the effort to bring common sense to government. McCartney feels that if Burlew succeeds in her bid for mayor, then it will send a powerful message to other people her age that they can make a difference as well. He states that current government policies are tilted in favor of older people and if more young people started becoming actively involved in politics, then it would start to balance the policies.
I can’t wait to hear the outcome of the election. If Burlew is elected, she will become the first teenage female mayor. What an exciting accomplishment!
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