HILLSDALE, Mich. — English class just wasn't the same on Wednesday for Michael Sessions. His mom showed up, for one thing. And reporters called — asking to talk to the new mayor-elect of Hillsdale.
His Honor — but you can call him Michael — is a high school senior who unofficially beat the incumbent Tuesday night with a write-in campaign he financed with his summer job earnings, going door-to-door.
“It's just showing that young can step up and do things for the community,” he says.
The job pays only $3,000 a year, but the young political junkie says his motivation was bringing new ideas to a troubled town. Hillsdale, near Detroit, has lost jobs to outsourcing, including his own father's.
“Your parent will come home, and say you don't have a job, and you start thinking, we have to cut back,” says Michael.
Already, he says he owes the victory to his “base” — his friends at the fire department who endorsed him.
“I don't think his age was an issue,” says Hillsdale Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Pauken. “They were impressed with his enthusiasm.”
Indeed, Michael Sessions is a rare example of this cable TV generation for whom a political career does not seem a loser's bet.
“Who knows? Maybe he'll grow up to be president one day,” says Hillsdale City Manager Tim Vagle.
That question, for now, is off limits.
“I'm just taking it one step at a time,” says Michael.
Even before he's sworn in, he's learning fast.
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