[00:00.00]At least four teenagers have launched campaigns for governor in two American states.
[00:08.53]The young people have declared their candidacy in states that do not have age requirements to serve as governor.
[00:19.69]Ethan Randleas is a 17-year-old from Wichita, Kansas.
[00:26.93]He was the most recent teenager to announce his candidacy.
[00:33.11]He wants to represent the Republican Party in the state’s 2018 gubernatorial elections.
[00:42.74]Two other Kansas teenagers have also launched campaigns.
[00:49.47]They are 17-year-old Republican Tyler Ruzich, of Prairie Village, and 16-year-old Jack Bergeson of Wichita.
[01:02.82]Bergeson wants to be the Democratic Party’s nominee.
[01:08.82]It is ironic that some of the candidates will not be able to vote for themselves because they must be 18 years old to vote.
[01:20.21]The current Kansas governor is Sam Brownback, who has served two four-year terms.
[01:28.65]State law prevents governors from serving more than two back-to-back terms.
[01:35.30]Other, non-teenage candidates are also hoping to be elected governor.
[01:41.62]Kansas officials say the state has no legal requirements for the office.
[01:49.84]“There’s nothing in the law – there’s no age, no citizenship, no residency, no nothing,” the state’s director of elections, Bryan Caskey told the The Hutchinson News.
[02:05.01]Candidates only have to pay a small amount of money to get their name on the ballot.
[02:12.98]Ethan Randleas has started a Go Fund Me campaign to raise money.
[02:19.28]He says he will need to raise $2,300 by June 2018 to be put on the Republican primary ballot.
[02:31.84]Randleas calls himself a “conservatarian,” which he described as someone who supports a combination of conservative and libertarian values.
[02:46.24]“We just had a president win on the campaign promise of draining the swamp,” he told the Kansas City Star newspaper.
[02:56.31]“And if you really want to drain the swamp, you get the complete outsiders, and that’s what I am.”
[03:05.24]Randleas also said he generally believes that the government should stay out of anything that does not involve the protection of life, liberty or property.
[03:19.07]Jack Bergeson says he has been interested in the political process for as long as he can remember.
[03:27.53]But he decided to enter politics himself after watching Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who sought the Democratic presidential nomination last year.
[03:40.64]The teenager describes himself as “a Bernie Sanders-style left-wing Democrat/Progressive.”
[03:49.15]Like Sanders, Bergeson has campaigned for a higher minimum wage.
[03:54.91]He also supports reduced taxes for poor families, pay increases for teachers and the legalization of marijuana.
[04:06.37]The third teen candidate in Kansas, Tyler Ruzich, says he decided to run after Bergeson announced his candidacy.
[04:17.76]“I thought that was just so cool that someone my age was doing that,” Ruzich told the Kansas City Star.
[04:26.58]“He really started to tell me, well, why aren’t you throwing your hat in the race?”
[04:33.61]Since the parties have yet to nominate candidates, it is possible Kansas voters could be choosing between two teenagers next year.
[04:46.69]On the East Coast, 13-year-old Ethan Sonneborn has launched a campaign for governor in Vermont.
[04:55.15]He sent out his own press release announcing the move.
[05:00.61]Sonneborn has repeatedly answered questions with interested media.
[05:06.54]“I'd rather lose a fight with a lot of visibility than lose a fight quietly,” he told the Burlington Free Press.
[05:15.70]On his Facebook page, Sonneborn talks about what he considers the main issues in his campaign.
[05:25.19]These include support for rebuilding infrastructure across Vermont and lowering taxes on the middle class.
[05:34.76]He also said he is “proud to be the most pro-choice, pro-gender equality candidate.”
[05:44.60]Sonneborn told the Free Press that local Democratic Party officials have been slow to take him seriously.
[05:53.11]He also admitted it will be difficult trying to travel around the state while still attending school.
[06:01.90]But in the end, he said, he believes many of the state’s voters will see his age as a good thing, and give him their votes.
[06:13.48]I’m Bryan Lynn.