19-year-old leading the vote count in a local Kansas primary

“There is a certain pride to know that, if elected in November, I may be both the only Jewish representative and the youngest member of the Kansas House," says Aaron Coleman.

Kansas City, Kansas (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Kansas City, Kansas
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
WASHINGTON - Aaron Coleman is a 19 years old community college student from Kansas City, Kansas, who washes dishes at a local restaurant during weekends. He is also running for the Kansas House of Representatives to represent District 37. And currently, he is leading the 13-year incumbent Stan Frownfelter by five votes in a democratic primary that remains too close to call. Next Monday, the provisional ballots will be counted to determine who won the primary.
"The reason I decided to run in 2020 for state representative is that even though I'm 19 years old now, ten years from now, I'll be 29 years old, and I'll still be a young man. And with the way the country is going, I'll either be thousands of dollars in student debt or living with my parents for the rest of my life, working for starvation wages,” he told The Jerusalem Post in an interview.
He told the Post that he was “heavily inspired” by Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign. That led him to run as a candidate for governor in 2018, when he was 17. “So many people live in poverty, homelessness, lack of healthcare, lack of education and lack of hope. And I think what we need is we need to give people some opportunity so they can actually have hope,” he said.


Coleman noted that he was surprised to discover that he is leading the vote count. “I thought I was going to lose big and lose heavily,” he says. “I was at dinner, and I started getting messages, about six or seven friends saying, 'you won,' 'you won.' I was like, 'no, no way.'”
Asked how he convinced people to turn out for him, he said that in July, he knocked on a thousand doors. “But also at the same time, I don't think my opponent took me seriously.”
“Knocking on doors was probably even better during the pandemic,” he continued. “Everybody was home, and it really helped me make a connection. I was, of course, wearing a mask and standing six feet away, or sometimes even 10 feet away from the actual person.”
“My Grandpa Charles's mother was the only survivor of our family from Auschwitz. I have spent a great deal of time since my election victory this week reflecting on my family’s challenging journey from the Holocaust to the Kansas Legislature,” he added. “There is a certain pride to know that, if elected in November, I may be both the only Jewish representative and the youngest member of the Kansas House."