Teenager Elected as Montcalm County Commissioner

In the political world, a candidate in their 30s is usually considered “young.” Brendan Mahar thinks that’s old, he just won a county commissioner seat in Montcalm County at the age of 18.

“I’ve always loved politics from a young age,” says Mahar, “I like to think that I am representing my generation. It’s our future. We’re going to be living in it. We’re going to be living in the decisions we make for ourselves.”

He began his campaign while still in high school and before he turned 18. On Tuesday, he beat his challenger, who is 50 years his senior, by receiving nearly 65 percent of the vote.

“I had to do a lot of door knocking and phone calls,” says Mahar, “I was worried sometimes people wouldn’t take me seriously.”

Of course when you start your campaign and you’re knocking on doors before you even graduated high school, people are going to have some questions for you to make sure you’re ready for the job. Mahar thinks he answered those questions well and the results of the election show he probably did.

“People in Montcalm County I think are ready for a change so I said ‘I’m young but I have the energy and focus in the drive to put forth the best solutions,’” says Mahar.

Mahar is the son of a teacher and a sheriff’s deputy, his main campaign promise was to rebuild their ranks after years of cuts.

“I think my main goal is to get deputies back on the road and animal control back in the budget which has started to slowly trickling and I’m ready to see out that process,” says Mahar.

It’s natural to think this is just the first step in a long political career, and it may be. But for now he’s happy to learn the ropes by serving his neighborhood.

“My ambitions and my goals are somewhat nearsighted,” says Mahar, “That’s just to be the best commissioner I can be for my friends and family in District 2.”