Emma Tufts / AP
This handout photo released by the Tufts family shows Mayor Robert "Bobby" Tufts, right, shaking hands with and unidentified woman in Dorset, Minn.
Like many 4-year-olds, Bobby Tufts is set to start preschool this September.
But Tufts isn’t just your average toddler. At age 3, he was elected mayor of his small tourist town of Dorset, Minn., and on Sunday, the town reelected him for his second term.
Dorset, which is the self-proclaimed "Restaurant Capital of the World" with a grand total of four restaurants, has an annual food festival the first week of August called the "Taste of Dorset." As part of this time-honored tradition, the mayor for the town is elected, too.
Dorset has no formal city government and the mayor has no official duties, since it was incorporated as part of the nearby town of Park Rapids when ZIP codes were created. Currently, no more than 28 people inhabit Dorset, depending on whether the minister and his family are in town.
It’s easy to get on the ballot and toddlers like Tufts aren’t the only quirky candidates the town has seen in the race. A local dog was on the ballot a few years ago.
Voters can cast their ballots as many times as they want as long as they pay $1. After Tufts got the news that he won, he and his mother Emma went out for dinner and were planning on fishing or having a bonfire afterwards.
Tufts' agenda captures his love of Dorset and his desire to help others. He plans to replace the welcome sign for Dorset, which currently names the town the "Restaurant Capital of the World."
Fundraising is a passion of Tufts as he has already raised $750 from a walk this summer and he plans to hold events throughout the year that raise money for charities like the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley in Fargo, N.D.
Most of the town’s citizens are happy with Tufts’ leadership so far and are looking forward to what he’s going to accomplish in his second term.
"He’s an adorable little guy and he’s been great for our town," said Gloria Driscoll, owner of the Heartland Trial Bed & Breakfast in Dorset.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
First published August 5 2013, 10:23 AM