Jack Bergeson, a 16-year-old, Wichita High School student has filed to run as a Democrat in the 2018 race for Governor for Kansas. Bergeson will not even be able to vote by 2018 but he is very serious about running for the position of governor of Kansas. His plain and simple reason for running for this position is that he wanted to give people another option. He is in no way or form fazed by the fact that he will not be able to vote in the election by the time he is running for governor of Kansas.
“Under Kansas law, there is no law governing the qualifications for governor, not one,” said Bryan Caskey, director of elections at the Kansas secretary of state’s office. “So, there’s seriously nothing on the books that lay out anything, no age, no residency, no experience. Nothing.”
When Bergeson found out about the lack of requirements, he thought to himself, “I could do that.” He is going to be giving Kansas something “radical”. Bergeson is ready to “radically change” the health care system and he also supports the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. The teen is also open to the thought of exploring the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. On the other hand, he is still fairly conservative about the concept of gun control and he openly supports laws that allow an individual to carry a gun for their safety needs.
Bergeson wants to point Kansas towards a new direction, which he believes is only possible if they “offer the people of Kansas something radical, something new”. This he also believes will increase the chances of winning for the Democratic party.
17-year-old Alexander Cline, a class mate of Bergeson’s is his lieutenant governor. Cline will be able to vote in 2018 as he will be 18 years of age.
The other Democratic candidates for the 2018 elections are former state Secretary of Agriculture Josh Svaty, former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer and Arden Andersen, an Olathe doctor.
Bergeson made his announcement on Monday, which garnered national attention and he has also appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” since the announcement. The reason he told Kimmel was that he wanted to try and spark an interest in politics amongst youngsters like him.
Michael Smith, a political scientist at Emporia State University, says this could be a positive thing as youngsters turning may finally politically engage and choose to vote. Smith isn’t claiming that Bergeson will win but he believes his unusual campaign may turn out to be a positive thing as a whole as teenagers will become politically aware.