A student at N.C. State University might be the youngest person elected to a Wake County office.
Jenna Wadsworth, 21, a senior at NCSU, was elected district supervisor for Wake County’s Soil and Water Conservation board last week.
“We cannot confirm if she is the youngest but we are pretty sure she is the youngest elected into office this election,” said Jennifer Bonchak, a spokeswoman for the Wake County Board of Elections.
Wadsworth claims she is not only the youngest person elected into office statewide this election but that she is also the youngest woman ever elected into office in North Carolina.
A person has to be at least 21 years old to run for office, said Don Wright, general counsel for the N.C. State Board of Elections.
Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton was also 21 when he was first elected into office.
He was a senior at UNC-CH when he was first elected to the Chapel Hill Town Council.
He said Wadsworth should be prepared for her peers on the board to not take her seriously.
“Her goal should be that she should prove them wrong and that she is serious about this,” Chilton said.
Wadsworth said despite her age she is not worried about not being taken seriously by other members of the conservation board.
“That is because I have been active with the board since before I decided to run for office and over the past year they have seen me go out to events and meetings,” Wadsworth said.
Dale Threatt-Taylor, the district director of Wake County Soil and Water Conservation, said she thinks Wadsworth’s age will benefit the board.
Wadsworth said she will present ideas about using social media to get information out about soil and water conservation.
“It would be a way to enhance the understanding and let them know that they have this great resource here,” Wadsworth said.
She also wants to promote locally grown food.
“Growing up on a farm, I believe in preserving the family farm, which is something that the board works with.”
Wadsworth said she is not worried about balancing schoolwork with her new position.
“During the campaign it was tough, but it is totally worth it because I have this opportunity to serve.”
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