A 16-year-old Wichita high school student is throwing his hat in the 2018 race for governor of Kansas.
Jack Bergerson filed to run as a Democrat after discovering that there is no age requirement for running for governor in Kansas, the Kansas City Star reported.
“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 told the City Star. “So there’s seriously nothing on the books that lays out anything, no age, no residency, no experience. Nothing.”
Bergerson, who will have his 17-year-old classmate Alexander Cline serve as lieutenant governor, said he plans to legalize marijuana for medical purposes and hopes to "radically change" the health care system, the Associated Press reported.
"I thought, you know, let's give the people of Kansas a chance," Bergeson told the Kansas City Star. "Let's try something new that has never really been tried anywhere else before."
Bergerson's campaign website notes that while he will not be able to vote in the 2018 election and he may not have much experience, the call to serve has been in his system since he was a child.
"Many people throughout the years have suggested that Jack run for public office later in life, but thought 'What is the point in waiting to try to help your homeland,'" the campaign website states. "We do not see youth as a disadvantage in this competitive campaign, but as a strength. As someone new to the political scene, we will not be afraid to try new solutions to old problems. Thanks to everyone willing to give us a chance."
Bergerson's run comes after President Trump’s appointment of current Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback to be Ambassador-at-Large for The United International Religious Freedom. If confirmed, Brownback will be be the U.S. government’s representative on religious freedom abroad.
Other Democratic candidates running for governor of Kansas include former state Secretary of Agriculture Josh Svaty, former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer and physician Arden Andersen, the Kansas City Star reported.
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