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Teens for Kansas governor

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Teens for Kansas governor

Doug Kerr via Wikimedia Commons

Doug Kerr via Wikimedia Commons

Doug Kerr via Wikimedia Commons

Doug Kerr via Wikimedia Commons

Ricardo Meyer, Feature editor

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Gubernatorial elections typically draw attention throughout the nation, especially when being unusual. This is exactly the case in Kansas, where in this years election, not only one, but six teenagers are running for governor. This is possible due to a major loophole in Kansas law, since an age requirement to run for the state’s highest office is not specified.

Jack Bergeson (16), Ethan Randleas (18), Dominic Scavuzzo (18), Joseph Tutera Jr. (16), Aaron Coleman (17) and Tyler Ruzich (17) have all discovered the loophole and decided to turn in their paperwork, entering this years list of candidates for governor. Thereupon, lawmakers started pushing for a bill that is aimed at preventing this from ever happening again.

This might sound like a harsh measurement to undermine youths participation in politics, but in reality, it is supposed to close the loophole and replace it with an appropriate age restriction. Current bills suggest four consecutive years of residency and a minimum age of 18 years, an idea developed by representatives. Blake Carpenter with suggestions from Randleas, one of the running teens.

Carpenter is not necessarily opposed to teens running for office, but remarked in an interview with ABC news, “We have to set some sort of standards for this office. At age 18 you’re an adult. You can serve in the military. You can do just about anything that you want.” The proposed bill however, is expected to not go into effect until January 1, 2019, two months after the elections.

Thus, the first real obstacle the young candidates face is the filing fee, due on June 1, 2018.

Carpenter doubts the teens success, “And how many of them will have actually paid the fee by then?” he said, “It’s just hard to see.”

After that, gaining the people’s support and votes on election day presents an even greater obstacle. Most people look for an experienced politician for an office as important as that of a governor and the overall governmental trend leans towards that with the motto “seniority rules.”

With the youngest current governor being 38 years of age, average age in the senate being 61 years and the average age in congress being 57 years, the six teens chances of winning, or even getting close to one of the older candidates, are almost non existent, rightfully so, leaving the position to one of the been around.

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Teens for Kansas governor