April 7, 2005 at 10:21 AM CDT - Updated July 11 at 1:45 AM
20-year-old Man Wins Seat on Ava Village Board By: Lauren Keith
Ava, Illinois has a new village board member with a lot of plans. H
e wants to change the town's water lines and expand businesses in town. Not bad for a guy who's barely old enough to vote.
Dustin Benscoter claims he has many plans for Ava, and Southern Illinois, for that matter. Apparently, Dustin's plans and career goals have been in the making for a long time in his young life.
"Ever since I was a little kid, I told everybody I wanted to be the mayor of Ava, and I made myself the self-proclaimed mayor, and so on," said Benscoter.
Before the 20-year-old tries for a mayoral bid, he decided to listen to the advice of those already holding office in Ava, and first ran for a spot on the village board. He appears to already have a knack for campaigning-- just ask anyone who passes through aisle #5 at the Murphysboro Kroger store, where Dustin works part-time, in between classes at SIU.
Dustin even credits his part-time job as a grocery store checker in helping him on the campaign trail, these last few months. You can bet he asked for some votes, while working in the checkout lane.
"Just a little talk to get my name out there," says Benscoter.
Dustin claims you can learn how to be a good politician, just from working part-time here at the store.
"I learned people have a lot of different opinions, and that's what I need to listen to-- the public. That's my goal: to represent the people," claims Benscoter.
After his four-year term on the village board is up, he plans to run for mayor, and then possibly a run at state representative. D ustin will be sworn into office in May. He has already rearranged his class and work schedules to fit in the Monday night village board meetings.