Kansas lawmakers split on response to teen governor hopefuls

February 21, 2018 - 4:33 am

More than a half-dozen candidates in the crowded Kansas governor's race are teenagers, and legislators are divided over whether it's a problem worth trying to prevent in the future.

The Kansas House advanced a bill Tuesday on a 73-43 vote to require candidates for governor to be 18 to run, starting next year. House members will take a final vote by Wednesday to determine whether the bill passes and goes to the Senate.

Kansas and Vermont are the only states without a minimum age.

Six Kansas teenagers have formed campaign committees for governor. Several out-of-state teenagers have joined the fray because Kansas lacks a residency requirement.

The bill's supporters argue candidates should be at least old enough to vote. Critics said the state shouldn't discourage young people's interested in politics.

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