America’s youngest elected official reflects on first week in Kentucky office

17-year-old Landin Stadnyk from Scott County was elected to serve in public office.
17-year-old Landin Stadnyk from Scott County was elected to serve in public office.(WKYT)
Published: Jan. 17, 2021 at 7:18 PM EST
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SCOTT CO., Ky. (WKYT) - The country’s youngest elected official took office this week in Kentucky.

17-year-old Landin Stadnyk was sworn in as Scott County’s Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor Tuesday.

A couple of months after his victory, he talked about his journey to getting the winning ticket, and his outlook on politics today.

Stadnyk earned his spot on the board after running twice. He said it feels surreal for his position to become official.

“We all sat at the board meeting table, we signed our oaths of office where we swore to uphold the Constitution, the laws, and all of that,” he said.

He’s less than a week into his political career, and has already faced push back from the public for his age and experience level.

Stadnyk said he is the youngest in his office by a decade or so.

“I talked with the chairman, a lot of the other members, they told me they had a big learning curve, too when they hopped into the field,” he said.

The teen said he we wants to use his platform to encourage his peers.

“I was talking to them about how important it is to recruit youth because my generation is creating the world that we want to live in, that, frankly, we have to live in,” he said. “My message to youth would be, create the world that you want to live in.”

While Stadnyk works on budgets and getting resources to farmers who have struggled during the pandemic, he sees it as an opportunity to switch up the political narrative.

“When I was 8-years-old, I saw politics through rose-colored glasses,” he said. “I thought these politicians were doing what was best for the people, so as my generation progresses to be able to step into these roles, to sort of return back to what my 8-year-old self saw would be the Utopian idea of politics, instead of this dystopian world that we’ve fallen into now.”

Stadnyk’s term lasts four years, and during that time, he plans to go to college. He said he’ll balance work and school through teleworking and travel.

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