Election Day has come and gone and now a community in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania has a new mayor who just graduated high school last year.
Nathan Gerace won the mayoral race in Tamaqua Tuesday night.
You won’t find most 19 year old’s chatting up borough employees on a nice fall afternoon, but for Gerace, he’s getting acclimated to what will be his job for the next four years.
Gerace , who graduated from Tamaqua Area High School just last year, is now Tamaqua’s mayor-elect.
“I’m very excited to start out. I think that good things are coming in the future and I’m excited for change, so it’s a lot of excitement,” said Gerace . “It’s also a lot of taking in and realizing that it’s a lot of responsibility.”
We first met Gerace in May when he won the primary election on the Republican ticket.
In the general election, Gerace ran essentially unopposed, beating out two write-in candidates.
Despite his youth, Gerace feels confident he can do the job of mayor, but he’s not afraid to ask for help.
“There’s very good workers in the borough in my opinion, so if I ever took a question to them, they always had a good answer for me,” he said. “So even if I just came looking for information, they had a source that I could get it from.”
Gerace says his goal as mayor is to encourage more hometown pride and get Tamaqua’s youth more involved in community events, like the “Little Town Big Heart” campaign that was started by the folks at the Tamaqua Community Art Center.
Workers here say having a young mayor could inspire more things like that.
“I think it brings a fresher perspective to our community,” said Danae Starry with the Art Center. “I guess because you have different ideas, new ideas with a young person so with ‘Tamaqua Has Heart’ that’s what we’re trying to do.”
And Gerace is already impressing Tamaqua youngsters.
“Wow! He’s 19,” said 11-year-old Gracee Kovalchick. “I can’t believe he got mayor. Good for him. He’s probably like the youngest mayor in Tamaqua.”
Along with being mayor, Gerace plans to continue taking classes at Lehigh Carbon Community College.