A handful of teens are now in the race for governor after realizing that there was no age requirement to run for office in the state of Kansas. The trend was started by 17-year-old Jack Bergeson who filed the paperwork first and then was quickly followed by five other teenagers.
“I thought, you know, let’s give the people of Kansas a chance. Let’s try something new that has never really been tried anywhere else before. I’m getting in to give the people a chance. It doesn’t matter much if I win or lose. I’m giving people the option,” Bergeson said.
“I think if you offer the people of Kansas something radical, something new so then that shows that we can move in a new direction, I think that will put the Democratic Party in a good position to win the seat next year,” he added.
There is no telling what could happen in a race like this, but lawmakers are trying to make sure that something like this never happens again.
Republican Rep. Blake Carpenter introduced House Bill 2539 to prevent this from ever happening again, but his bill would not be able to stop the current election.
“If you are an adult in the eyes of government at age 18, you can serve in the military, you can do just about anything you want. As of right now, inmates can run. I also saw reports of people saying that cats and dogs could run,” Carpenter said.
17-year-old candidate Bergeson pointed out that this is obviously a reaction to the young faces in this year’s race.
“I don’t think it’s a good thing. I’m not a fan of it. I think it’s a reactionary bill. I think it’s trying to disenfranchise candidates,” he said.
One of his opponents, Tyler Ruzich agreed with the proposed law, saying that, “If you’re able to register to vote, I think you should be able to run for elected office.”
According to the National Governors Association, Kansas, Vermont, and Massachusetts are the only states in the country that don’t have a restriction on age to run for office.