Between all the students who attend Ithaca College and Cornell University, Ithaca is an overall young city. Even still, some people were skeptical when 24-year-old Svante Myrick ran for mayor. Myrick won the democratic primary and carried all 18 of Ithaca's polling places on election night to become Ithaca's next mayor. On Thursday, Myrick said his victory was due to support from Ithaca's young people and the young at heart.
"I've met some of the youngest 80 year olds in this whole race," said Myrick outside his campaign headquarters.
Myrick's candidacy wasn't a stunt or a prank. He is a Cornell graduate and a native Central New Yorker who grew up in Madison county. Myrick has also been on Ithaca's city council for four years. On Wednesday, he talked about some of his ideas for new traffic patterns, economic development and affordable housing in Ithaca. He says being a young politician isn't an issue for him anymore but he still gets questions about it.
"There's no trick to it. it's thousands of hours knocking on doors," said Myrick
When he takes office in January, Myrick will be the youngest mayor in New York State. It will be a year before he's old enough to rent a car but many Ithacans said Myrick has shown he can take the city where it needs to go.
"Ithaca is not your average city and having someone who is different in any way is not necessarily something that is bad in Ithaca," said Cornell professor Tom Owens.
Myrick said he also knows the real work has just begun.
"Four years from now I don't want to be the mayor that was the youngest - I want to be the mayor that served the city well. I want to be the mayor that served the people well," said Myrick.
Myrick will take office on January 1st. He says he'll spend the next two months working with the current mayor on a transition plan.