Six Teens Running For Kansas Governor
Six Kansas teens are taking advantage of a loophole in state law to run for governor of the state. The teenagers have all submitted paperwork with the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission to run in the November election for governor of Kansas. To stay in the race, they have to pay a filing fee by June 1.
Under Kansas law, there is no law governing the qualifications for governor. There is nothing on the book regarding age limits, residency requirements, or experience with regards to becoming governor. There is not even a rule limiting the field to human candidates.
Every state in the union places some age restrictions on the election of governor except for Kansas and Vermont, according to the National Governors Association. That is strange because the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights says the state’s voter ID laws are among the strictest in the nation. The youngest current governor is Ricardo Rosselló of Puerto Rico, who is 38 years old.
The first teen to announce their candidacy was Jack Bergeson. The 16-year-old Bergeson jumped into the race as an anti-establishment candidate and is pursuing the Democratic nomination. His platform focuses on advocating for a $12 minimum wage, the legalization of medical marijuana, and connecting major cities in the region with high-speed rail.
Another teen candidate is Aaron Coleman, running as an independent. His platform focuses on making Medicare universal, raising the minimum wage, and legalizing marijuana. He says that he hopes his candidacy will inspire more young people to become active in politics.
Ethan Randleas was 17 when he decided to run as part of the Libertarian Party. His platform is about reforming the criminal justice system and lowering taxes. The teens will be going up against Republican Jeff Colyer, who took office on Jan. 31 upon the departure of Sam Brownback. Many believe that he will be difficult to beat in a primary, much less a general election.
After several more teen boys announced their candidacy, Republican Rep. Blake Carpenter introduced a bill requiring candidates to be at least 18 years old to run for the state’s top elected offices. The bill would also require candidates for governor and lieutenant governor to have lived in the state for four years.
The bill passed out of House committee earlier this week. The committee voted against Republican Rep. Kristey Williams’ amendment to raise the minimum age to 30. The law wouldn’t take effect until after the November elections.