On youngest TN political officeholder, age 18

Eighteen-year-old Bailey Hufstetler became the youngest person in Tennessee to hold political office when sworn in recently as a Spring City commissioner, according to the Times-Free Press.

The Bryan College freshman defeated incumbent Jody Baur in August, just months after graduating from Rhea County High School in May.

“I just really wanted to make a difference,” Hufstetler said this week. He is the only person in his family involved in politics.

As city commissioner, his duties will include meeting monthly to hear citizen complaints and voting on issues involving city budgets and infrastructure for the town of nearly 2,000 people.

…Hufstetler said some adults asked him what he would do if elected, but after they learned of his history in the community, many people seemed more at ease.

He volunteers at the Spring City Chamber of Commerce, Spring City Care and Rehab, and the Tennessee Valley Theater. He started a nonprofit organization for child abuse prevention called Heroes and Angels. And Hufstetler volunteers with the Rhea County Relay for Life, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

“I feel like everybody in the community matters, and I just want to be able to impact the community in a positive way,” he said. “My heart has always been into pursuing the community and to better the community.”