Rest of the world getting a Taste of Dorset's new 3-year-old mayor


His advisers gave James Tufts a week to settle into his role as mayor of Dorset.

But eventually the political honeymoon ends and all those phone calls from New York, London, and other far-flung places need to be returned.

Minnesotans may no longer be shocked by the concept of a 3-year-old mayor.

Many of us know that the town of 22 residents near the Mississippi River headwaters selects its figurehead mayor at its Taste of Dorset festival every summer by drawing a name out of a bucket of entries that were purchased for a dollar.

After all, we saw Robert Tufts get "elected" at age 3 ... re-elected a year later ... then become a booster for his younger brother's candidacy this summer.

But many people are only now learning about the Tufts brothers and their political dynasty – thanks in part to a fresh set of interviews conducted by James, Robert, and their mother, Emma.

Robert seems to have shifted from campaign manager to chief of staff, telling Reuters he passed along some words of advice to his newly-elected kid brother: “I told him to be nice when you talk to people and don’t say any poopy talk.”

Being poopy-free is not enough, though. The TODAY show notes Robert also taught the new mayor how to shake hands and look his constituents in the eye.

And James is already looking forward to replicating some of the charitable work his brother did for groups including the Salvation Army and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He tells the New York Daily News: "I want to give presents to kids when they're sick at the hospital."

Of course, the role of celebrity mayor doesn't go away – not even on days when a guy might prefer to just be a 3-year-old.

Emma ("the boy's mum") told a British newspaper, the Daily Mail, she's proud of the work her sons have put into the job, noting "the discipline they have when all they want to do is be kids and people are asking for autographs they usually stop what they're doing and engage with the person asking."

James clearly relishes his new office and has apparently been coveting it for some time. Emma tells the Daily News that in past appearances with his older brother, James had been known to try to fib his way into the limelight: "He would introduce himself as the mayor when he wasn't. He would tell people he was the vice mayor depending on how he was feeling."

Now James has had a week to legitimately feel mayoral. And the concept of a 3-year-old mayor may feel a little less foreign to consumers of the various media telling the story of Dorset's chief executive.

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