Will Mayor Tufts win re-election in Dorset?
By Jean Ruzicka
Forum News Service
DORSET, Minn. -- Hundreds, perhaps thousands, will be holding their breath Sunday in Dorset as a member of the audience reaches into the vote bin to determine who will be the next mayor.
Members of the media are expected to attend the Taste of Dorset as the political future of the precocious 4-year-old mayor, Robert Tufts, who has gained international eminence during his tenure in office, is determined.
He’s been interviewed on public and national television as well as Twin Cities stations, making his acquaintance during the Governor’s Fishing Opener.
His witty and insightful replies – spiced with a child’s whimsy – have captured audiences’ attention and hearts. Interview topics switch at the turn of a dime.
"What will you do if you are not re-elected?" he’s often asked. To which he replies, "I can’t be mayor."
Has his term as mayor of Dorset been fun?
"Yes," he replies. "One time my dad got me a root beer float," he said of visiting his constituents in Dorset. "Did you know cocoons become butterflies?"
If he should be chosen for another term of office, the avid fisherkid (who outfishes his parents) plans to "catch fish to eat, build a restaurant with Dad and serve walleye and bass and perch and northern and crappie."
But hunting, although an aspiration, is a ways out. "I can’t use the 30-30 yet. It’s not my size, and metal doesn’t shrink."
"Look at that dragonfly!" he exclaims in yet another segue.
Future plans call for becoming a shark fisherman in California (his favorite movie is "Jaws," mom Em said), and running for mayor of New York. "I’ll pick up cigarette butts," he said of his political platform.
"I’ll show Sophie how to fish," he said of his pintsize girlfriend, Sophie Robbins of Akeley. "She’s the right girl for me."
At this point, he looks at the page with notes of his insights and announces, "When you use all these stripes (lines on the page, which he counts accurately at 14), we’ll be done."
Then, it will be off to see the raspberries. "Red, ripe raspberries. I’ll show you how to weed. If you dig up a plant, I’ll plant it," he promises. "I dig like a dog," he says, grinning.
"I had fun," he said of his tenure in office. "Know what I can do? Wink!" he says, demonstrating (both eyes responding).
What’s on the agenda next year, if elected? A snowshoe scavenger hunt, he said, Mom confirming this to be his original idea.
"Dad will hide the stuff," he said of Robert Sr.
And a "Welcome to Dorset" sign will adorn the epicurean destination.
Taste of Dorset runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
A mayoral parade begins at 12:30 p.m. with the buck-buys-a-vote drawing for the next mayor at 2 p.m. By mayoral proclamation, free candy and balloons will be distributed all day.
The day is a food- and fun-filled extravaganza, with the restaurant capital of the north woods offering a myriad of mouthwatering treats.
Live music and games, horse-drawn wagon rides, face painting, minnow races, a quilt auction, silent auction, author book signings and info booths will engage audiences of all ages.
The University of North Dakota’s Power On Team will present science experiments.
And the new mayor will be announced.