A 22 year old grocery store cashier named Justin Nickels has been elected Mayor of Manitowoc. Justin Nickels defeated 39 year old Dave Soeldner, a graduate of MIT, to become a 22 year old mayor. Read more, see photos and video below.

Justin Nickels 22 Year old mayor

Justin Nickels

Justin Nickels has a will to win; he has a knack for success. At least that’s what those who know him seem to think. Justin Nickels is a 22 year old grocery store cashier as well as a college student who just became the 27th mayor of Manitowoc. His campaign manager Matt Kadow says:

“From the beginning, we wanted to really target the people that we could assume would be out and voting and tuned into this election,” Kadow, 26, said today. “We did that correctly.

“(Justin) has just an unrivaled commitment to serve the public. His vision, the knowledge he’s gaining from his education … and just his energy and youth and his big-picture thinking is going to be great for the community.”

Matt Kadow also ran for Mayor at the age of 22 but lost to incumbent mayor Kevin Crawford. Justin Nickels mother thinks that her son winning is a step in the right direction for Manitowoc, seeing it as an opportunity for other young smart people to be encouraged to serve their community.

The final tally in the mayoral race was Justin Nickels 4,711 and Dave Soeldner 4,696; a very tight margin of 15 votes. The Manitowoc board of canvass is to meet at 3:00 p.m. today to verify the vote total; it is not known yet whether or not there will be a recount. Dave Soeldner says that he will wait until after the board meets to determine his next move.

Justin Nickels is currently serving on the city council; a position he has held since 2005. His current post, which was not up for election, will be filled by council appointment. According to city ordinance, Justin Nickels is due to earn $283,691.00 over the next four years. Not bad for a college student working part time as a grocery store cashier.

More photos and a video of Justin Nickels are below.

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Justin Nickels Photos

Manitowoc Video