Even Jacobsen (17) is running for office as the youngest mayor ever

The 17-year-old from Ringerike is running as a candidate for mayor of Venstre.

Mayoral candidate Even Jacobsen (V), here at a national meeting of Unge Venstre.

– I have been told that I am too young and inexperienced to run for office, but I think that can only be their opinion, Even Jacobsen told Aftenposten.

Schooling at Hønefoss Upper Secondary School is combined with town council meetings and interviews. Despite his young age, Jacobsen managed to be politically active for more than five years.

Now, in theory, he can become the youngest mayor ever. This record is now held by Jonas Andersen Sayed, who was 21 years old when he was elected as the first KrF candidate in Sokndal.

Jacobsen began his political career at Ringerike and Hole MDG, where he served as deputy leader for a long period. It was only last winter that he decided to change sides and joined Venstre.

– My passion is the climate. I want to create green cities and local communities where people come in front of cars, and where there are places where people can meet, explains the young politician.

To the home team behind him

The legal voting age in Norway is 18. In other words, Jacobsen does not yet have the right to vote, even if he goes to the polls to become mayor. Earlier this year, Venstre proposed giving 16-year-olds the right to vote in the next local election. The Storting voted against.

Jacobsen will turn 18 in June 2023, just two months before the September 11 municipal elections of the same year. Anyone who turns 18 in the same calendar year as an election is eligible to vote.

He is therefore authorized to present himself as a candidate as of now.

Although some raised eyebrows when Jacobsen announced his candidacy, he received almost exclusively positive reactions.

– People think it’s good that I get involved, especially as a young person. I hope the rest of the team trusts me since they chose me as their candidate for mayor. But I expect them to be a bit excited too since I’m completely new to partying.

Ringerike Venstre has now nominated him as her candidate for mayor.

Along with climate action and greener cities, the 17-year-old wants Ringerike to be a safe and inclusive municipality in which to live. He is ready to face the big and small battles:

– I want to take up the battles for freedom that can be fought locally and work so that everyone in Ringerike has the opportunity to decide a little more about their own lives, says Jacobsen.

– Would have been a dream

Jacobsen holds several positions. He is a board member of Ringerike Venstre, Ringerike and Hole Unge Venstre and Viken Unge Venstre.

But when asked how likely the home team is to choose a 17-year-old to become mayor, he is realistic:

– It is quite certain that I will be elected to the city council, but becoming mayor is probably less likely. But that doesn’t really concern me, because my goal is basically for the left to make the best choice possible, he says.

– Is the Storting the dream?

– It’s not something I think about a lot, I’ll be honest. My goal now is for the Liberal Party to win the local elections and make Ringerike an even better municipality. We’ll see what happens next.

At the same time, he does not hide that it would have been great to work alongside the best in the country:

– But of course, it would have been a dream to be able to fight for the issues that I am passionate about, at the national level, concludes Jacobsen.

Adele Matthews

"Passionate pop cultureaholic. Proud bacon trailblazer. Avid analyst. Certified reader."

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