Chris McBarnes is about to end his time at Butler University and begin his term as mayor of Frankfort, Ind.
Tuesday night, election results confirmed the 23-year-old Butler senior will become mayor, and he will be ready for his official inauguration on Jan. 1.
“I feel very excited, but at the same time very grounded,” McBarnes said. “I’m anxious to begin building the city of Frankfort from the ground up and there is much work to be done within the next four years.”
McBarnes received 75 percent of the votes against his challengers, Democrat Ruchard Greeno and Independent Brett Todd.
Just over a year ago, McBarnes decided to run as the Republican candidate for mayor of his hometown.
Tuesday morning, McBarnes said it was stressful putting himself out to the public, but he was more excited than nervous for the results.
“Being able to balance school and campaigning is all about time management,” McBarnes said. “But I have a wonderful team who does a lot for the campaign.”
Junior and Sigma Nu brother Luke Crimmins said he provided assistance in any way he could with McBarnes’ campaign.
Crimmins helped take donations, participated in fundraisers, sent out online polls and submitted surveys to different organizations on campus.
Crimmins described McBarnes as a “person who doesn’t accept failure and challenges negativity.”
“Chris is a constant inspiration, especially for us Sigma Nu brothers,” Crimmins said.
“He’s making Indiana history, and it’s inspiring to see a Butler student overcome the kind of adversity he has and still be able to make the most out of life.”
The adversity Crimmins is referring to is an illness McBarnes had to overcome during his middle school and high school years.
“This is what I have taken from that experience; time is precious, life is precious, there is work to be done,” McBarnes said
Ever since recovering from his illness, he said he’s been able to implement personal experiences into his work for inspiration and encouragement.
McBarnes said another source of inspiration were educators he has had at Butler. McBarnes said Paul Sandin, instructor of communications taught him that it’s okay to reach for his dreams.
“I would not be where I am now if it wasn’t for his guidance and encouragement,” McBarnes said.
Sandin said he has been with McBarnes and is proud to see him stick with it. He said one of McBarnes’ reasons for running for mayor was to inspire others and prove that no one is too young to be interested in politics.
“Chris is youthful, full of passion, and will bring an energizing factor to politics,” Sandin said.