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Mayoral candidate age 21
Hilton, N.Y. -- The race for the mayors seat in the Village of Hilton is picking up speed with only a week and a half before voters head to the polls.
Incumbent Mayor Joseph Lee is running for reelection against his challenger, current Village Trustee Andrew Fowler, 21.
Two years ago, Fowler was voted in as the youngest trustee at 19.
The community has been so great to me and my family," Fowler said. "This is one of the avenues I can use to give back to it."
Fowler said what voters may think of as lack of experience, he can make up with his family's lifelong involvement in the community.
He said his passion was influenced by his parents, who were both recreation and parks directors. His dad was the director in the Town of Parma, and his mom in the Town of Gates.
I've seen local government from all these different avenues my whole life, said Fowler. I want to take what I've learned and bring it to the Village of Hilton.
Fowler is a senior at the College at Brockport and is set to graduate with a history and education degree.
Some voters said they're excited for new ideas.
"I guess I have always had this vision of a mayor always being older than 21 years old, said MJ Jojic of Hilton. I think it's great. Fresh ideas for the village would be good."
But others in the village are still leaning toward the current mayor.
"He's a newcomer," said Jill Porter. "I'm not sure that he has the experience to run the village. I think he needs a little more experience."
Mayor Lee served on the Village Board for six years before he was elected mayor. He said he knows what the people need, and Fowler still has time to learn more.
He needs to get more experience, said Lee. We all did it at that age. We worked our way up. Hopefully he'll see that.
Still, Fowler is remaining confident in this race for mayor.
He said this race also means a lot because his dad is ill. Doctors diagnosed Fowlers dad, Steve, with stage four cancer, and he may not have long to live.
It means more to me now just because of what he's taught me, said Fowler of his dad. What both of my parents have taught me, and it's something that I feel as a community, we can come together as a larger family as well."
If Fowler doesn't win the mayor's seat, he still has two years left in his trustee term.
Hiltons Election Day is March 18 at the Village Community Center in the Board Room.
Voters will also be electing two village trustees.