The 8-year-old ETX mayor - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

The 8-year-old ETX mayor

When East Texas experiences big weather events, sometimes KLTV asks viewers to send in pictures of what is happening where they live. 

A few years ago, one picture KLTV aired went viral. The picture of little Ryan Bailey playing in the snow melted hearts. 

Now 8-years-old, Ryan has moved on to bigger and better things; he was just named East Texas' youngest mayor. 

"The city of Gladewater presented to Ryan Bailey in recognition of your esteemed appointment as mayor for eight minutes. You might have went over a couple, but that's alright," said Gladewater's Mayor Harold Wells as he handed Ryan a certificate. 

"And I hope you're not around when I have to rerun, okay?" Mayor Wells laughed. 

"Never in 38 years, and I go to a lot of city council meetings, I've never seen anybody take over as the mayor of Gladwater, And him being an 8-year-old child, it was even more special," Mayor Wells explained. 

Mayor Wells also declared that day as Down Syndrome Awareness Day.

"I'm mayor and I wore a long tie and I used a gavel," Ryan explained. 

Then, in the city council meeting Ryan said he asked a member to pray. 

"Mr. Owens, would your pray? And he did. Then, I recited Psalm 23 all by myself, And mommy and the whole audience watching me," Ryan said. 

Ryan said he was a little bit nervous at first, but he has had lots of practice. 

Ryan has recited Psalm 23 for churches all over the country. 

He has appeared on the big screen in New York's Time Square not once, but twice. Ryan's photos were selected by the National Down Syndrome Times Square Video Contest. 

"Ryan has had over 1,500 therapies in his life. He is home schooled so that gives us the opportunity to work on his academics at home, but then make sure he is out and doing other things," said Colleen Bailey, Ryan's mother. "Baseball, taekwondo, school," mentioned Ryan as he listed off his activities. 

"He seems to love it, love every minutes of it," Bailey said. 

It is a love of life that Ryan shares with everyone he meets.

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