MACCLESFIELD, N.C. (WNCN) – There was quite the upset in Tuesday’s mayoral election in a small Edgecombe County town.
A 23-year-old first-time candidate beat out a long-time incumbent for the top seat of Macclesfield’s government, becoming one of the youngest mayors in the country.
“Talk to people, call people, visit people, and ask what their opinions are,” said Trey Lewis, Macclesfield mayor elect.
That’s just one of the things he plans on doing when he takes over as mayor.
He beat out Mayor Mike Keel, who has held the office for 15 years.
A town native, Lewis lives right next door to the home he grew up in and is continuing a sort of family tradition with his win this week.
“Such an honor to know I’m following in the footsteps of my grandfather and my uncle, who were both previously mayors,” said Lewis.
“He wanted to run a couple years ago but I didn’t think he was quite ready then, but I knew this time he was,” said Dudley Etheridge, Lewis’ uncle and former town mayor.
Etheridge said his nephew drew a lot of attention from the town of about 470 people when he threw his hat in the ring. But adds that age is just a number.
“I was his age when I was mayor, you know and we accomplished a lot when I was young,” said Etheridge.
Not only will Lewis be one of the youngest mayors in North Carolina history, he’s also a part-time vet-technician in Rocky Mount, and a senior studying political science at East Carolina.
“I’m an example of what the Founding Fathers would want in a politician I feel like. Someone who’s not a professional politician, someone who hasn’t’ spent a lifetime in government, just an average citizen who wants to get involved in the community,” said Lewis.
Lewis is waiting to hear back from the board of elections to see if he broke any records for youngest mayor in office.