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Siler City Teen Turned Down As Candidate For Mayor

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SILER CITY, N.C. — No celebrities are running for mayor of Siler City. But one would-be candidate wants to make himself known.

The problem: he's too young to run.

"You would be upholding the Constitution of the state of North Carolina if you gave the people the right to choose who govern them," 19-year-old Jonus Nobles, a clerk and bagger at a local grocery store, told the local Board of Elections.

He had a speech and an audience. He thought he also had a point.

"I can be drafted and die for my country," he said. "But I can't hold elective office. Why is that?"

It is because he is too young. The state Constitution says mayoral candidates must be at least 21.

Nobles hoped the Board of Elections would let him run, anyway. He had the speech of his political life.

"And I'd just like to ask you to please give the people their choice," he said. "If they think I'm too young, then so be it. But that is their choice, and it is their Constitution."

In the end, the board voted against Nobles, one board member claiming: "It's just an open-and-shut case the way I see it."

But that doesn't mean Nobles is out of the race.

"If I'm a write-in, I'm a write-in," he said. "But the people will speak, and if they want me as their mayor, I'm going to be their mayor."

For now, Nobles will go back to bagging groceries. But as long as he has hope, success may be in the bag.

Nobles said he'll run for mayor in two years, when he's 21 -- that is, if he is not already mayor.