KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) – The 19-year-old who won the Kansas Democratic primary for the 37th District state house seat is moving forward with his campaign, despite earlier reports that it was ending.
After Aaron Coleman upset seven-term incumbent Stan Frownfelter in the August primary, party officials on both sides of the aisle announced they would be mounting write-in campaigns in attempt to defeat the teen in November.
Coleman seemed to exit the race in a series of tweets over the weekend, citing the desire to focus on the health of his family.
He also had admitted to past actions he had taken online including bullying, blackmailing and using “revenge porn” against girls while in middle school.
In a statement Tuesday, though, he said he is staying in the race as the Democratic nominee for the state legislature despite the “attacks” from his opponents,
“From the moment I won, I have endured sustained attacks. These attacks against me were far more than I bargained for,” he wrote. “I obviously did not expect to have my entire personal life, especially what I did in middle school, put under that kind of national microscope.”
Coleman said voters chose him not just because of who he is but also for his “platform and for change for our community,” adding that he won’t undo that decision because he is “a flawed individual who has made mistakes.”
The teen also called on voters in the district to make the decision for themselves and not listen to outside national voices or state party leaders.
“The corporate interests have vowed to pour a lot of money into the incumbent’s write-in campaign, and I will need support to bring my message to voters, who deserve to hear all sides, not just the side of the rich,” Coleman wrote. “Ultimately this race will not be decided by the New York Times, or by party bosses in Topeka, and certainly not by affluent white collar professionals on the coasts who couldn’t care less if working people in Kansas have their decision to throw out a corrupt incumbent ignored.”
This is a developing story. Please stay with KCTV5 News and KCTV5.com for updates.