Jacob Mantle knew he was gaining ground with his door-knocking when an opponent told him: “Everywhere I go, you’ve already been.”

On his second round of canvassing the 2,000 homes in Uxbridge’s Ward 4 where he’s running for town council, Mantle says now people are greeting him by name.

At 21, he’s one of the GTA’s youngest candidates in the municipal election. But far from being an obstacle, his tender age and boyish appearance — even decked out in stylish business apparel — work in his favour, says Mantle, a recent university graduate employed as a legislative assistant to Durham MPP John O’Toole.

“Some people tell me, ‘You’re getting my vote because you’re 21’.”

Injecting new life and ideas into their local council is a common theme with young candidates, whose rivals are usually decades older.

“I have the youthful energy and fresh perspective that City Hall needs,” says 22-year-old William Molls, a graphic and web designer who’s running in Toronto’s Ward 22.