Texas fifth-grader becomes mayor for a day

An Irving fifth-grader serving as mayor for a day says meeting the governor was the highlight of the day.

Madeline Ojeda celebrated her 11th birthday on Wednesday by spending the day with Mayor Beth Van Duyne.

They spent the morning meeting with hotel associations at the Greater Irving Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce before heading over to a governor’s luncheon benefiting the United Negro College Fund.

“He told me to tweet that I was with the governor and he’d tweet me back,” Madeline said. “And he said I should study a lot and that it’s great that I want to be the governor.”

She got the opportunity to become mayor for a day by winning an election last semester at Hanes Elementary School.

The aspiring politician said she wanted to become a lawyer and a governor.

“The night before, we were saying she’d really love to be the first Hispanic governor of Texas — even mayor of Dallas, mayor of Irving,” said her mother, Angela Ojeda. “We live in Irving, so that would be the best place for her to start her career.”

Van Duyne said she thinks it’s important that young women get more involved in politics.

“They find out what’s going on in their community,” she said, “If I can open it up, and if they can see firsthand everything that we go through, from the good fun stuff to some of the tougher meetings and the tougher questions, I think it’ll get a lot more interest early on.”

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