Sessions, an 18-year-old senior, became the city's youngest mayor on Monday when he took the oath of office. The crowd included city residents, photographers and dozens of video cameras — some from news agencies as far away as Russia and Japan.
"The first couple of days are going to be rough, I think, on me. I've just got to get acquainted with the job," Sessions said earlier Monday as he took reporters on a tour of the city, which has a population of 8,200 and is located about 100 miles southwest of Detroit. "My confidence is gaining a lot each day."
Sessions beat Mayor Doug Ingles, 51, by two votes in the Nov. 8 election even though voters had to write his name on the ballot paper before they could vote for him.
Sessions, who used $700 from a summer job to fund his race, already has appeared on the "Late Show with David Letterman" to read the Top Ten list titled "Good Things About Being an 18-year-old Mayor."
Richard Moore, owner of an insurance firm in downtown Hillsdale, says the national spotlight on Sessions means more exposure for the community.
"I think people at first were like `What's going on here?' but I think as people got to know Mike, they realized he's not your average high school senior," Moore said. "It takes a special person to run for office at any age."