While most seniors at Rhea County High School are worried about all of the craziness that goes into preparing their paperwork and grades for college in the fall or planning their summer vacations, one local teen has decided to take a much different approach to his final days in high school: running for the Spring City Commission.
Bailey Hufstetler, an 18-year-old student at Rhea County High School, registered to vote and filed his paperwork with the Rhea County Election Commission to run for one of two seats on Spring City’s city commission that are up for election this year.
Bailey has been a hard worker in the community for a number of years and is no stranger to the Spring City Commission. He regularly attends the commission meetings, and it was a dream that set his political gears in motion.
In this dream, Bailey said that he was sitting in a commission meeting, which was natural considering he always attended the meetings. This meeting in particular that he was dreaming about was anything but natural. He was sitting in a commissioner’s chair.
“Ever since then, I’ve thought about it and prayed about it and felt like that was God’s way of telling me that I needed to do this.” Bailey said in an interview.
“If I get on the commission, I have more of a chance of making a difference in my community, and that’s what I want to do is make a difference in my community.”
Current issues in the Spring City political arena are not the point of running for office for him, though. When asked if there are any specific issues that he would like to address, he said, “At the moment, honestly no.”
His campaign for commissioner may seem unconventional, but Hufstetler is not your conventional politician. His thoughts on what his duty will be is something quite rare in the realm of politics.
“My duty as commissioner is get community feedback on what the citizens of Spring City need and want. I’m not going to be this politician that promises the citizens things and they not happen.”
“Instead, I am going to encourage the citizens to give me feedback on what they want and need and promise them that I will try my best to make things happen.”
“As a commissioner, I am one vote. So I, individually, can’t make things happen. However, I can try to persuade my fellow board members what I feel is right for our community.”
His sense of commitment to the Spring City community is second to none for people his age, and he assures anyone doubting his credibility that yes, he is an 18-year-old, but he will take his job as city commissioner with all seriousness and humbleness.
To those doubting his resume, he provided me with a brief list of his experience in community involvement:
- 6 years acting and directing at Tennessee Valley Theatre
- 6 years volunteering at Spring City Care and Rehab
- 2 years at City Hall in Spring City
- 1 summer marketing internship at the Dayton Chamber of Commerce
- 1 year volunteering with the Spring City Chamber of Commerce
- 3 years with Rhea County Relay for Life
- 1 summer volunteering at Victorian Square Assisted Living in Rockwood.
The teenage politician had some words to personally pass on to those who read this article and his possible constituents in Spring City.
“I’d like to say that, yes, I may be young, but I will take my job seriously as city commissioner. I have a great resume with volunteer service in my city and hope that the citizens of Spring City give me the opportunity to fully serve their community as being their voice as a commissioner.”
The way the election works for the Spring City Commission is that the candidates with the two highest amount of votes will receive a seat on the commission. Bailey will be running against incumbents Max Douglas and Jody Baur in the municipal election on August 4th. If he secures 1st or 2nd place in total votes, one of them will lose their seat. His thoughts on his two challengers?
“I love them both dearly and wish them the best in this campaign.”
If you wish to learn more about Bailey’s run for the commission, follow the link below to his campaign’s Facebook page.