A lot of people were inspired to run for office after the 2016 election. At this point, 49 women have announced they are running for Senate in 2018, which is 68% higher than the amount who had announced they were running in the last midterms. This is exciting! Similarly inspired are a bunch of teens in Kansas. Yep, that’s right. As of this moment, six teens are running for office in the state of Kansas because they recognized a loophole in the legislature that there are no stipulations on candidacy.
Jack Bergeson, 17, discovered he was eligible to run, despite not being able to vote and is now pursuing the Democratic nomination for governor. His main issues are marijuana legalization, and $12 minimum wage. The earliest election he can remember is 2008. His slogan, borrowing from a more prominent party member is, “Feel the Berg.” Chill.
Since announcing his candidacy, five more teens have entered the race, three of them running as republicans. This caused state representative Blake Carpenter to introduce a bill raising the minimum age of candidates to 18. That way they can at least vote for themselves. But that bill wouldn’t be able to take effect until after November 2018.
So what else should we expect from these teen candidates? Aside from the legitimate platforms some of them have presented, I hope they make the school lunches better, make Fridays optional at schools, and bring back Vine. Also, I bet prom would be pretty cool with a 17 year old in office. No word yet on what would happen should one of them win and simultaneously get accepted into college.
In all seriousness, it is cool that at least some of these kids are engaged in politics and looking for, albeit extreme, ways to get involved. Kudos to them for finding these loopholes and ticking off these old state reps. They've even held a debate at a local high school. It is, as the kids say, rad. *does the shaka sign*