By Diana Perez, WBZ-TV

HOLYOKE (CBS) – Victory is soaking in for the man who’s now the state’s youngest mayor.

Alex Morse is 22 and just out of college. “I decided about a year and half ago and did some soul searching and decided that I was ready for this position,” he says.

He beat out the incumbent, with deep roots in town – by a sizable margin. Mayor-elect Morse announced he was running in January when he was a senior at Brown University.

WBZ-TV’s Diana Perez reports

And he says it was his unique approach to campaigning that made the difference, “We had really substantive conversations with people in their living rooms and kitchens, at their door steps and I was the only candidate that people could say he came to my door he asked for my vote.”

But at just 22 years old, how much experience does Morse have to effect real change especially in a place like Holyoke? There are 40,000 people living there. Well we spoke to some of them and they say his age is precisely why they want him in office.

“I like to think of it as he has a clean slate,” says 23 year old Dionisio Gerena.

Steve Szewczyk says, “I can understand why some people would be turned off by his youth and inexperience but I’ve heard him speak about the issues and he’s really impressive and he seems to have a good handle on the issues.”

“I don’t owe anyone a favor, I haven’t been around long enough,” says Morse.

His focus will be improving education and public safety and bringing in business.

“He gets to give actually a dream for young people who see the city as potential,” says Gerena.

Making Morse a young face with a fresh take on some of the same old issues.

Comments (43)
  1. TJP says:

    Experience is meaningless if it’s used for bad instead of good. I’ll take someone inexperienced but with a good grasp of morals and economics any day over an experienced liberal.

  2. changomango says:

    Is he a Democrat or Republican? This report should have mentioned his political affiliation.

    1. Simon says:

      I don’t know about other states, but in MA mayoral races are restricted from party affiliation on the signs and the ballot. Obviously if you look at their ideas you can tell if they’re conservative or liberal but party affiliation is limited.

      1. S2 says:

        Just goes to show you, people are looking for change. They want some new direction.

    2. Chris Bailey says:

      He went to Brown. You figure out his political affiliation.

    3. aaron says:

      Just plain loser is what he his. Only losers win in Mass.

      From the website:
      Alex served two terms as student representative for the Holyoke School Committee, he is the founder of Holyoke For All, the city’s first LGBT non-profit organization, and for three years he sat on the Massachusetts Governor’s LGBT Commission.

      1. naudia says:

        wow u must be really immature he is a well brought up mayor he has seen a bright future for holyoke since he was a teen thats why he served in the Holyoke Youth Comission thats why he ran for mayor so back off.

    4. Michael says:

      Hello, He lead the LGBT movement. I don’t know any conservatives doing that. Maybe Libertarian. I wonder if he will push for full-out LGBT support, tax money supported.

    5. Kat says:

      WHO CARES???

      Why don’t you just find out if he’s good???

  3. Al Dente says:

    Get serious. It’s Massachusetts. If he’s a Republican, I’ll eat my hat — if I had one.

    1. Rob says:

      City’s part of latin America.. Guy must speak espanol lots

  4. dan says:

    Party doesn’t matter, their both rotten to the core, we need honest, uncorrupt, ethical people to do the will of the majority. No special interests or lobbyists involved.

    1. Rob says:

      ” both rotten to the core, ”

      especially in MA

  5. phillysmart says:

    Good for him he can’t do any worse than the moron democrats running most if not all cities

  6. nickinva says:

    Holyoke is a very left-leaning city in a pretty left-leaning state, so something tells me that this guy is probably not a Republican, or at least won’t admit that he is. I wish him the best of luck though. After his first day as mayor, he will have more experience running something than Obama did when he was sworn in as POTUS.

  7. Dean Davis says:

    He is a Democrat judging by the union and various Democrat party endorsements on his website.

  8. John says:

    I hope he listens to Rush, he’ll do great!!

  9. john says:

    The city this kid is going to run is proably 40% hispanic and many of them illegal.

    he will have his hands full taking care of these freeloaders…for sure.

    I wish him the best, but he might have a problem with burnout becuase this is not a rich city.

  10. Good for them says:

    I like this trend. That old lie with age comes experience,show ’em up boys.Every one has a different life experience. You can be young,intelligent,quick to learn, and maybe even gone through hell and learned from it. You can be middle aged or aged and done nothing more but sit on a@# and pop out kids, or floated through middle management, or just old and dumb. I’m glad the smart kid gets a chance, they just did this in an Iowa town too. If anything American politics have shown being aged does not mean you have a working brain, wisdom or compassion. You just do what you are told like most people. You just get to do it in public.

  11. Jeffrey Shultz says:

    Brown, huh? Another credentialed, budding Marxist. Perfect for the city — ANY city — in the People’s Republic of Taxachusetts. (Precisely why I moved to Florida two years ago.)

    1. Sheez says:

      and FL doesn’t have a high tax huh? please…

      1. cgs says:

        no they don’t. Florida has NO income tax at all.

      2. teaj says:

        lol. dude come on down you have no idea.

  12. Luke Stone says:

    Does anyone else not care?

  13. rushbabe says:

    He is a Republican–which is exactly why it was not mentioned in this article. Dems are dropping like flies and having to eat their hats all over this country…even in Massachusetts. Alleluia!

  14. abbey says:

    I HOPE he is a conservative. Heaven knows Holyoke (and the rest of MA) needs one. Hoyoke is a dirty, crime ridden city riddled with low life and illegal aliens. It sure needs cleaning up.

  15. Tina Hemond says:

    He is not a Republican – and he does have some government background * and at that level of government, it does not truly matter – although one should note, there are more than a few new mayors in Massachusetts that are Democrats but but sound extremely conservative – when one votes in MA at that level, the party affiliation is not listed and candidates are not obligated, as far as I am aware, to reveal their personal political affiliation –

    From his website:
    Alex Morse was born and raised in Holyoke and is a proud product of the city’s public schools (Morgan Elementary School, Peck Middle School, and Holyoke High School). Alex is an alumnus of Brown University with a degree in urban studies, becoming the first in his family to graduate from college.

    Alex served two terms as student representative for the Holyoke School Committee, he is the founder of Holyoke For All, the city’s first LGBT non-profit organization, and for three years he sat on the Massachusetts Governor’s LGBT Commission. He served as President of the Holyoke Youth Commission, where he brought the National Kids Vote Program to Holyoke and started a basketball league for out of school youth in partnership with the Holyoke Parks and Recreation Department and the YMCA. He also worked with the Massachusetts Public Policy Institute, Health Care for All, and the United Teen Equality Center in Lowell to write legislation to provide more mental health resources to youth across the state. Alex has also worked with community residents in Holyoke to plan the annual “Stop the Violence” Basketball and Volleyball tournament for youth and families to promote peace and nonviolence in the community.

    Alex worked at City Hall in Providence, Rhode Island, where he was mentored for three years by former Providence Mayor, and current Congressman David Cicilline. Alex has also worked for Tapestry Health in Springfield and the Northfield Mount Hermon Upward Bound Program, of which he is also an alumnus. Since 2007, Alex has been a Youth Career Counselor at CareerPoint in Holyoke, where he helps young people access employment and education, works with the business community to identify youth employment opportunities, and manages youth summer employment programs throughout the City.

    1. Rob says:

      Geeze must be a pole smoker like sissy from RI

    2. Jeffrey Shultz says:

      Sounds like a liberal Democrat to me. Oops, redundant.

  16. nickel says:

    Northfield Mount Hermon is an amazingly good school. I wish Alex and his city the best. Lord knows he has taken on a major challenge in trying to run Holyoke.

  17. almostgramps says:

    some words of advice for mayor elect morse from a 57 year old baby boomer, I applaud your election and hope it’s the beginning of a trend around the country at all levels of office. I loathe my fellow boomers and what they have done to this great country, their greed and arrogance is disgraceful. the consequences of what we’ve done will be lived by mr. morse’s generation, it’s time they started to take control. bravo.

    1. Jeffrey Shultz says:

      As a fellow boomer I agree with gramps as to PART of his response. Our parents, who lived through the massive deprivations of the Great (not this tiny mini-version we have now) Depression and World War II were going to make doggone certain that their kids didn’t suffer as they did. The result was an entitlement mentality begun by Lyndon Johnson in 1965 that has grown exponentially ever since. The problem now is, as evidenced by the vast array of whines and shouts from the OWS crowd, that that “He-has-two-I-want-one-of-his” mentality has in turn compounded that exponentiality. I do not share gramps’ implied optimism as to the next generatiopn. Their role models lacked the character of ours whom we betrayed.

  18. Little Boomer says:

    Holyoke has a whole lot of hispanics, but most are Puerto Rican and as such are not illegal aliens, but US citizens by birth. This is also the case of the Ct river valley in MA.

  19. dms says:

    If he doesn’t have an good experienced support staff, he will fail miserably. Brains and a good college education does not qualify him to run a city that size and with that many issues. He got into office because the voters expressed their dismay with the current system. I think this will backfire but nevertheless I wish him the best of luck. He’ll need it.

  20. ROWDY BOOTS says:

    It would behoove the writer of this story to actually do some journalism and give us the party affiliation of this new Mayor.

    Why is the Liberal Press hiding information from the Public?


    1. Chippy55 says:

      He’s gay. Does that help to figure out which Party affiliation he is?

  21. polycarpx says:

    If the past is any indication, he’ll prove himself an embarrassment Holyoke. Like that kid from Michigan who became mayor of Benton Harbor, or wherever it was.

    1. Jeffrey Shultz says:

      Or like Dennis Kucinich, former mayor of Cleveland and now principled, if extreeemely flighty, congressman. A disaster for Cleveland, ergo, appropriate for his constituents.

  22. Chippy55 says:

    This is a disaster waiting to happen, if not for only this fact: Anyone over the age of 50 is going to treat him as someone still wet behind the ears.
    He has no idea what dirty tricks will be played on him, no experience, but then Obama has had zero experience, look how bad that has turned out.
    He will always be the least experienced person in any room he walsk into, like Obama.
    You read it here folks, a disaster waiting to happen.

  23. Kat says:

    Who bloody cares what party he’s from?? He’s young, passionate, and has a vision! Can you say the same? When is the last time YOU ran for office, stood up for something, or made a difference? Stop complaining. Go meet him. Add your input, get passionate, and become part of the vision. OR…just keep sitting around complaining, writing negative statements, and expelling way too much hot air. If you’re not part of the solution, you REALLY ARE part of the problem.

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