Janene Burton is a retired history and dance teacher who has developed a passion for the wonderful world we live in and trying to keep it that way.

So Burton, who was on the Andy Griffin Show Tuesday, decided to run for city council in her hometown of Santa Clara, Utah. She was determined to get elected and try and help keep the charm of downtown Santa Clara and the rich history of the burg just west of St. George.

"I love the city of Santa Clara and found out ... that with all the high-density housing going up, that they were going to change the little downtown historic district," Burton said. "Me, being into history, I wanted to preserve it for the people of Santa Clara."

So Burton, who had dabbled in politics in the past, decided to run for city council.

One problem, though.

Due to a canceled flight and a couple of other misfortunes, Burton did not get her name on the ballot in time.

Her only chance to get elected this time around would be a write-in campaign, and anyone who follows politics knows write-in campaigns are almost always unsuccessful. Many states don't even allow write-in candidates and of the ones that do, a write-in candidates wins less than 1 percent of the time.

"I knew the odds," Burton said. "But I was determined."

Burton went to city hall in Santa Clara and bought the biggest map she could find, complete with addresses and street names. She then knocked on every single door in town, walking as far as eight miles a day, taking care to leave personal notes behind when the owners weren't home.

"I got the door slammed in my face a couple of times, but by and large most all of the people in Santa Clara are wonderful people," Burton said. "They were so nice. Many said they had never had a candidate stop by their house before."

She even went so far as to print flyers that explained the sometimes confusing process of voting for a write-in candidate.

The end result for Burton was worth it. She was sworn in as a city councilperson last month.

Burton, who is widowed, also was crowned as Ms. Senior USA recently and has a message to all those who want to defy the odds.

"If you're bound and determined, you can do just about anything," she said.

L to R: Marianne Hamilton, Andy Griffin and Janene Burton
L to R: Marianne Hamilton, Andy Griffin and Janene Burton
Beauty award winners Marianne Hamilton, L, and Janene Burton.
Beauty award winners Marianne Hamilton, L, and Janene Burton.

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