- Associated Press - Monday, March 13, 2017

LANCASTER, Ohio (AP) - A teenager who hasn’t finished high school is hoping to become the next mayor of a small central Ohio city.

Clayton Lunsford, 17, told The Eagle-Gazette (https://ohne.ws/2mXUDWd ) he’ll pursue online schooling during the first year in office if he’s elected as mayor of Lancaster.

His petition for candidacy in the mayoral race was confirmed by the Board of Elections on March 2, and no one else has submitted a petition. The deadline is Aug. 14.

Lunsford, a junior at Lancaster High School who will be 18 in August, said he’d also put off college if he wins office.

“If the people elect me, this would be my full focus,” he said.

Lunsford, who is running as an independent nominee, said the presidential election showed him that “some Americans are ready for change.”

Lunsford acknowledges he may not have the experience that some mayoral candidates have, but said he will work harder than anyone else.

“I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think I could have a positive impact,” he said.

As mayor, he indicated he would seek to streamline the government and spending, fix the roads and bolster the city’s transparency. If he doesn’t win, he’s looking to finish high school and go to college.

The candidate who wins the Nov. 7 election will finish out the rest of Brian Kuhn’s term, which will be about two years.

Kuhn recently resigned.

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Information from: Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, https://www.lancastereaglegazette.com

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