TAMAQUA, Pa. (CNN) – Nathan Gerace claimed victory Tuesday night in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, about 75 miles east of Harrisburg. It’s a big deal for Gerace because he is only 19 years old.
Born and raised there, the young leader knows what issues he plans to address.
“Right now Tamaqua struggles with blight, obviously, the drug problem and community involvement. So those are three things that I want to work on to improve in the town,” Gerace said.
After graduating from Tamaqua area high school in 2016, he enrolled in college classes at a local college campus. He believes his age will help kids relate to him, and inspire others to go after their goals at a young age.
“You shouldn’t let age be a barrier on what you want to do. It should be more about what kind of passion you have for it. So that should be the biggest factor is what you want to do not what people tell you can do,” Gerace said.
Being mayor is a big commitment, but he says he’s ready for his four-year term, saying he’s preparing to handle important tasks like council meetings, the budget, and overseeing the police department.
Although Gerace was unopposed in the election, he’s grateful for the voters’ support, and hopes they’ll open up to him when they see him around town.
“I was given the gift of gab. So I love to talk. So I would never want anyone in the community to be afraid to come up to me because I would talk to anybody about anything, about any issue, anything going on in their day,” Gerace said.