4-Year-Old Dorset, Minn., Mayor Re-Elected

Aug 5, 2013 12:31pm

Bobby Tufts, the 4-year-old mayor of Dorset, Minn., was officially re-elected for a second term Sunday at the tiny tourist town’s annual “Taste of Dorset” festival.

“I became mayor again. That means I have free ice cream,” an excited Bobby explained to GoodMorningAmerica.com.

When asked what he is looking forward to most in his new term, Bobby replied without missing a beat, “Doing lots of fishing!” The mayor also has big plans to impress his girlfriend, Sophia, with all the free ice cream she wants, too.

The little boy’s mother, Emma Tufts, said Bobby was thrilled when his name was announced Sunday as the newly re-elected mayor.

“He kind of choked up a little bit,” Tufts said. “She [the master of ceremonies] said, ‘Robert Tufts,’ and everybody screamed. I was choking up and he was choking up, and I’m sure his dad was choking up but I was so excited I couldn’t even see him.”

After many hugs and cheers to celebrate pint-sized Bobby’s re-election, he proceeded to thank the blindfolded man who drew his name out of a plastic tub.

“He thanked the guy who drew his name,” said Tufts. “It was really overwhelming right at first. He didn’t have time to react. There was so much going on.”

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Each year on the first Sunday of August, Dorset selects its mayor by pulling a random name out of a hat during the annual “Taste of Dorset” festival, after residents from in and around the area pay $1 to enter the drawing.

But this year was a bit different.

“People were sending votes from all around the country,” Tufts said.

Since Bobby was first elected last year at age 3, his ceremonial role as head of the town’s 20 to 30 residents has turned him into a national sensation. People across the country became enthralled with the little boy-turned mayor of the friendly small town, which jokingly calls itself the “Restaurant Capital of the World,” lined with boardwalks, porch swings and flower baskets.

But Bobby hasn’t let all this attention go to his head.

“He’s just the same kid,” Tufts said “Although he did throw a temper tantrum last night because he couldn’t have a bonfire since it was getting too late. He was just so exhausted. He had camera crews in his face from 3 p.m. until well after the election.”

Mayor Bobby told ABC News last month in a phone interview from day care that he wanted to be mayor again because “I do a good job of being it.”

4-Year-Old Boy Appointed Mayor of Dorset, Minn.

Dorset came up with its whacky mayoral tradition when it was incorporated into the neighboring town of Park Rapids after losing its post office when ZIP codes were created. Any candidate is eligible for the unpaid position, from preschoolers to dogs. So Bobby’s duties don’t include much while in office.

“Mostly it’s just going to day care and schmoozing with the girls,” his mom said in May, when the news of Bobby’s first term made national headlines.

But now that Bobby is one year older and wiser, as he turns 5 Oct. 26, he does have some bigger plans for the town.

“He’s going to try to earn money for a new ‘Welcome to Dorset’ sign. That’s one of his goals,” Tufts said. “And he has another fundraiser this winter planned for the Ronald McDonald House. He wants to do a snow shoe scavenger hunt.”

“My dad is going to be the hider, and me and Sophia are going to be the finders,” Bobby said of how he plans for the scavenger hunt to work.

As for today, however, the little boy is lying low from the limelight, just enjoying his summer helping a family friend lay floors in her house, because, yes, in addition to being the country’s cutest politician, according to his mom, “he’s also handy and loves to help.”

ABC News’ Alana Abramson contributed to this report.

AP robert tufts dm 130710 16x9 608 4 Year Old Dorset, Minn., Mayor Re Elected

Jeff Baenen/AP Photo

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