Oldest North Dakota mayor turns 90

CENTER, N.D. - The Oldest Mayor in North Dakota celebrated his birthday last week and the whole town came out to congratulate him on 90 years.

One of the more fascinating rises to the position, Harold Wilkens has never sought the spotlight, but has always answered the call to serve.

Harold Wilkens moved to Center, North Dakota, when he was just six years old, after his father wasn't able to farm anymore.

In 1954, he would start a truck line that would last 30 years and In 1969, he opened a gas station.

He would first bring attention to Center as the fill-in sponsor for his nephew's softball team.

"He was a super sponsor. He brought the beer. And if we needed a player, he'd play. I remember he might've been 60 years old at the time; put him in and got 4 hits that day," said Bruce Wilken’s, Harold’s nephew.

This wouldn't be the last time Harold got the call out of the bullpen. Four years ago, his run for mayor began how most campaigns start.

"I was approached at the bar on afternoon. Fellah came up to me and said, you know what?' and I said, 'What?' He said, 'We're gonna run you as a write-in vote for mayor.' And I said, 'Well, okay. If I win, I'll accept it,'” said Mayor Harold Wilkens.

He didn't campaign at all. There were no signs in yards; not a single radio ad or jingle. Then the news broke that Harold, at 86, won his first term as mayor."

"I thought it wasn't gonna work so good. He was 88 or 86 at the time. He's been doing good; everyone likes him," Bruce said.

During his Four-year term, he's seen renovations to the town's civic center, improving the flooring and looking into new heating systems.

Then the big announcement that Harold, now 90, is running for re-election.

"I think he would enjoy it, not at his age. He can't do that anymore," said Delma Wilkens, Harold’s wife.

The joke candidate now making hits on a different kind of field.

Mayor Wilkens said, if re-elected, he will oversee a $1.6 Million Water and Sewer project that will take two years. He plans on seeing that project through.