Government & Politics

Johnson County resident becomes fifth teen to enter race for Kansas governor

Joseph Tutera Jr.
Joseph Tutera Jr.

Joseph Tutera Jr., was not alive in the ’90s, but what he lacks in years he is trying to make up for with ambition.

The 16-year-old sophomore from Mission Hills, Kan., is the fifth teenager to enter the race for Kansas governor.

Kansas has no age requirement to run for governor. The other teens to throw their names in are: Republicans Dominic Scavuzzo of Leawood, Tyler Ruzich of Prairie Village and Ethan Randleas of Wichita. They’re joined by Democratic candidate Jack Bergeson of Wichita.

Bergeson, like Tutera, is 16 years old. The other candidates are older.

“I will be running as a Republican with a financially conservative ideology with a moderate conservative social ideology,” Tutera told The Hutchinson News. “I am intrigued with politics for a very simple reason: Politicians with the right intentions are the people that can bring real change to a city, state or country, and I want to be one of those people.”

Friends University political science professor Russell Fox told The Associated Press earlier this month that the teens won’t have the money or name recognition to run effective campaigns.

“These kids are doing it for a stunt, and they admit they’re doing it for a stunt,” Fox said, while acknowledging some people probably will vote for a teen, “but most won’t.”

There’s also no rule against dogs running for governor in the state, The Star previously reported.

Max Londberg: 816-234-4378, @MaxLondberg