ATHENS, TX (KLTV) – He's barely old enough to vote, but an East Texas teenager is saying vote for him in a local city council race.
The 18-year-old politico is pushing to bring new ideas to a place where young voices are often heard to find.
KLTV's Morgan Chesky visited with the high school senior staying busy during his spring break.
He's staking his claim to politics, one sign at a time.
"I think it will sound crazy to a lot of people, but I think it's good to have the younger generation more involved," said Ridge Tardy.
The sign says "Ridge Tardy for City Council," the ring says high school senior.
"He's very mature for an 18-year-old and everybody loves him," said Ridge's employer, Judy Jones.
Ridge's love is politics, and when the city council filing deadline approached, he made up his mind.
For those who know him, the decision is no surprise.
"Up at school, they actually call me "FPT," standing for future president Tardy," Ridge joked.
The promise of young blood pushing key issues has already paved the way for Tardy's campaign, but, if he really wants to stake a claim on Athens City Council, he's going to have to fight for it.
"I don't know that he knows all the issues," said Jerry Don Vaught, who holds Place 1 on the Athens City Council.
Jerry has held place one for the past two terms, and he wants to make it three.
"I just appreciate that he has an interest in government—in city government," said Jerry, "What is he thinking, to what he can do to help Athens, because that's what it all boils down to."
What he lacks in that, Ridge says he makes up for in desire to make difference.
"I wish him good luck. I just hope that whoever takes the position can fulfill it in the right way," Ridge expressed.
For now, Tardy waits, entrusting his town with his political future or potential summer vacation.
Each candidate will have some time to convince the citizens of Athens they're the right one for the job.
Early voting kicks off May 2nd, and Election Day is set for May 14th.