Levi Johnston may be making news for running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska at the fresh old age of 20, but maybe it's not as far-fetched as the ladies of The View will have you believe. After all, a college student was the only one who bothered to apply for the police chief gig in a town near Juarez, Mexico recently. So she got the job.
Marisol Valles García, a 20-year-old criminology major and new police chief in Guadalupe, joins a long list of youngsters taking on positions of power. She'll need all the help she can get -- of the 11 Mexican mayors killed in the last year alone, Guadalupe's is one of them. But she has vowed to make residents "less afraid."
Ah, the hubris of youth. It might make a difference.
So while the women on The View challenged Johnston's qualifications this week, they might want to point Sarah Palin's grandson's daddy to Garcia and the rest of the world. If this list is a sign, 2010 is the year the young people take back control:
1. At 19, Romaine Robert Quinn was the youngest person to assume the position of mayor in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. He won the job in an election this past April, securing the post with a vote of 53 percent of the electorate for him (and 47 percent against -- but it's the "for" that matters).
A freshman at the University of Wisconsin at the time, he ran on a platform of improving town sidewalks, reducing engineering costs, and fiscal responsibility.
As for age? He said from the start it wasn't a problem. On his campaign site, Quinn told concerned voters:
I once heard a quote, “Wisdom has no age ... and age is not the key to wisdom.” Although I respect and admire the experiences and knowledge that may come with age, age does not guarantee the common sense and quality of character that is necessary to lead.
It worked -- he got 965 people to agree with him.
Luke Scott2. The state of Ohio has gotten a lot of prime time coverage thanks to Glee -- a TV show full of high school characters set in Lima. But a real life over-achieving Rachel-type is running for president of the city council in Wellston this November. Luke Scott is already the youngest town councilman in the history of the state; a job he took last year at 18 with 60 percent of the vote. That was also the same year he graduated from the Wellston High School.
Now in college, Scott is hoping to "restore trust to citizens of Wellston" as the president of the council.
3 and 4. New Hampshire could be seeing double this November. Michael Weeden, of Dover, and Kyle Jones, of Rochester, easily won the Republican primaries to get on the ballot for the state legislature races in their respective areas. Oh yeah, and they're both just 19 years old.
If either wins (or both), they would be among the youngest people ever to have served in the legislature of the Live Free or Die state. One person served at 18 years, 5 months. As Jones told a local newspaper: "You don't have to be middle-age to have good values."
5. Town media seems concerned that he can just barely drink, but Andrew Alger is doing fine as the newest -- and youngest -- city councilman in Brunswick, Maryland. He got the job in August, a month after turning 21.
The college senior still lived with Mom and Dad at election time, but voters made him the leading vote getter. Any surprise he talked up using Facebook and Twitter to the city's advantage?
6. Ian Campbell was just 23 when he was appointed mayor of Retford this past spring. It made him the youngest mayor in Britain's history, and sparked rumors that he'll end up in the prime minister's cabinet within the next decade.
But it wasn't his age that seemed to have Britons' tongues wagging. Much of the news coverage was about his sexuality. Campbell rose to prominence as a gay rights activist.
Ziad Shehady7. Springfield Township in New Jersey started 2010 off with a fresh start and the freshest face in the state. Ziad Andrew Shehady was 25 and officially dubbed the youngest mayor in the Garden State this January.
The New York University graduate has since joined with Governor Chris Christie to work toward real property tax reform, joined the Mayor for Meals program run by Meals on Wheels to put politicians on the front lines of feeding the elderly, and helped Springfield go pink for breast cancer awareness.
8. By comparison, he's positively ancient, but West Virginia lawyer Carte Goodwin made history this spring when he was sworn in as the newest Senator from the Mountain State. The 36-year-old is the youngest ever to serve in the U.S. Senate.
It's only logical -- he replaced Robert Byrd, the longest-serving Senator. If anyone has a chance of beating that record, it's a young whippersnapper.
Throw in Garcia, and that's nine "kids" who could teach Levi a thing or two. Now the question: would he listen?