Young candidate seeks seat on newly formed city’s council

At 19, she’s barely old enough to vote.

But Mary-Pat Hector of Lithonia, Georgia, says her aspirations are much bigger than her age and she’s hoping Tuesday’s election is another step in her journey.

Hector, a Spelman College sophomore, is the youngest candidate in the race to fill one of five seats on the city council for the newly formed City of Stonecrest. Getting on the ballot, however, hasn’t been easy.

Her candidacy was challenged by an opponent who questioned her eligibility based on her age. Georgia law requires candidates to be at least 21 years old unless a city charter specifically makes an exception. However, the DeKalb County Board of Registration and Elections ruled that Hector could run because Stonecrest’s charter doesn’t specifically mention an age restriction.