HILLSDALE, Mich. – Michael Sessions began talking about running for mayor when he was a sophomore in high school. He realized that dream before he got his diploma.
Sessions, an 18-year-old senior, became the city's youngest mayor on Monday when he took the oath of office. The crowd included city residents, photographers and dozens of video cameras — some from news agencies as far away as Russia and Japan.
"The first couple of days are going to be rough, I think, on me. I've just got to get acquainted with the job," Sessions said earlier Monday as he took reporters on a tour of the city, which has a population of 8,200 and is located about 100 miles southwest of Detroit.
"My confidence is gaining a lot each day," he said.
Sessions beat Mayor Doug Ingles, 51, by two votes in the Nov. 8 election despite Sessions' status as a write-in candidate.
Sessions, who used $700 from a summer job to fund his race, already has appeared on the "Late Show with David Letterman" to read the Top Ten list titled "Good Things About Being an 18-year-old Mayor."
Richard Moore says the national spotlight on Sessions means more exposure for the community.
"I think people at first were like `What's going on here?' but I think as people got to know Mike, they realized he's not your average high school senior," Moore said. "It takes a special person to run for office at any age."