Alex Torpey was elected Mayor of South Orange, NJ in 2011 at the age of 23, winning by a 13-vote margin. From literally getting laughed at by residents when knocking on doors, to dealing with a bonafide troll, hear his story about the challenges he overcame to become the youngest Mayor in the history of South Orange, NJ, and his advice for young people considering politics today.
“What do I have to lose? So I run in an election and I lose, my ego might take a bit of a hit, but like so what? It will be a great experience. And the upside being I might get the chance to make a difference in my community and learn a lot about how to make things work better and somehow that’s the one that ended up happening.”
4:15 – What was South Orange thinking, electing a 23 year old?
5:45 – “Some people laughed at me going door to door.”
6:00 – Alex goes into rebuttals to people thinking he was too young.
7:00 – How many people told you you were crazy to do this?
8:00 – “Am I qualified to do this?”
9:36 – What do you say to a younger person today who is thinking about running for office?
12:20 – “The American politician who doesn’t want to run for reelection is a very powerful person.”
12:38 – Why didn’t you run for re-election?
15:30 – Why run as an independent?
17:20 – How did you deal with your bonafide troll?
24:10 – What’s the biggest lesson you learned?
25:40 – Biggest regret?
27:20 – What keeps you up at night?
30:00 – What can we do to reduce the bitterness in politics?
33:40 – What doors have opened up for you since being Mayor?
43:50 – What’s next for Alex Torpey?