GUSTINE -- he’s not even old enough to rent a car but a 19-year-old Merced County man in Gustine is hoping to be the city’s newest mayor.
Zachery Ramos is on the campaign trail.
“Our slogan is are you going to vote for age or are you going to vote for action?,” said Ramos.
He might have just got his driver’s license, but the 19-year-old says he has the passion to lead the city of Gustine.
“Because I wanted to help people, that’s one of my biggest things, I wanted to help people, get people’s lives on the right track,” stated Ramos.
If elected, Ramos will be the youngest mayor in California’s history.
However, he faces Pat Nagy; a city council member with nine years of experience.
FOX40 spoke to Nagy over the phone.
“Running for mayor as a culmination of being on the council for nine years and it’s the next step in far as serving the city of Gustine,” said Nagy.
Between pastures and homes, only about 5,800 people live in Gustine.
Some business owners feel the new mayor should focus on retaining Gustine’s “small town charm.”
“We need some very strong, very seasoned leadership,” business owner, Sherri Marsigli said.
For others, downtown is where it’s at; it just needs a little work.
“Focusing on downtown, just for me and my family and my business just because of the sheer fact that you know there’s a lot of empty buildings,” said Jonathan Flanagan.
Referring to Ramos, Nagy said he’s a “well-meaning young man but I don’t think he really understands the workings of a city.”
No matter who wins, Ramos says he’ll continue to work for his hometown.
“If we lose this for some reason, I’m not done in Gustine, born and raised here, I’m going to stay here,” Ramos said.
Ramos adds that, if elected, he’ll be the youngest Portuguese-American politician in history.