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Democracy knows no age limit

Teens from around county listen to four teens running for governor

Staff writer

Democracy of the teens, by the teens, and for the teens was on display Tuesday as seniors from Hillsboro, Marion, Goessel, Peabody-Burns and Centre attended a forum at Hillsboro High School with four Kansas teenagers running for governor.

“It’s really exciting,” 17-year-old Ashley Brazil of Hillsboro said. “It’s a way for a small town to get attention. I never expected this. It’s crazy.”

Washington Post reporter Monica Hesse was on hand to interview the candidates, and free-lance photographer Jeff Tuttle of Wichita took photos.

Two students from each school asked questions of the candidates, and Shelby Johnson, Dakota Klein, Callyan Lucio, and Dylan Wiens, members of a student-led group “Think Twice,” moderated the event.

“I think it’s really great,” senior Callyan Lacio said. “We’ve been planning this for a while. We will hand out registration forms.”

Most of the students in attendance were 17 years old but many will turn 18 and become eligible to vote if they register before this fall’s election.

The four candidates were Ethan Randleas, a Libertarian from Wichita; Dominic Scavuzzo, a Republican from Leawood, Tyler Kuzich, a Republican from Prairie Village; and Alexander Klein, running mate of Jack Bergerson, a Democrat from Wichita.

They answered questions on a range of issues, such as legalizing marijuana, raising the minimum wage, the size of state government, education funding, and concealed carry of guns.

Kaden Kleiner, 17, said he was impressed.

“I think it’s cool that someone younger than us is running for governor,” he said. “I never would have thought of it. I’m not too knowledgeable on politics, so I’m just here for the ride.”

Added Emily Meyer of Goessel: “It’s cool that young people are interested in running for governor and being active in politics, because our future is really important.”

Last modified Feb. 14, 2018

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