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Youth movement adds a wrinkle to race for governor’s seat in Kansas

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LAWRENCE, Kan. - Four teens running for Kansas governor spoke to their peers on Thursday at a forum at Lawrence Free State High School.

“Our state has no age requirements to run for statewide elections and I wish to take advantage of this unusual circumstance to run a campaign that will be focused on representing all Kansans and not just a few,” said gubernatorial candidate Tyler Ruzich.

In the running are: 17-year-olds Ethan Randleas, Tyler Ruzich and Dominic Scavuzzo, along with 16-year-old Jack Bergeson.

“One of my first priorities upon election would be to raise the minimum wage to at least $12, although I hope to achieve at least $15 an hour,” said Bergeson.

From economics to education, these young candidates voiced opinions on a wide range of issues.

“I think it`s also important that we address the issue of marijuana and drugs, I of course believe in the decriminalization of recreational marijuana and the full legalization of medical marijuana,” said Randleas.

The candidates also represent a diverse background of political views.

“Although I’m running as a republican, I`m truly a Libertarian, what that means is that I`m vested in your personal interest, in your personal liberties, and getting the government out of your lives,” Randleas explained.

But regardless of party affiliation, there are some things most all candidates could agree on.

“In this country during a time of division it shouldn`t be a matter of whether you are right wing, left wing, republican or democrat, but rather it should be about are you willing to move this state forward,” said Ruzich.

The party primaries are next August. Election day is Nov. 6, 2018.