A 19-year-old Democratic candidate for the Kansas House who admitted to engaging in revenge porn and harassing girls online has reversed his decision to abandon his campaign, and a party leader has suggested that the House wouldn’t seat the young candidate if he won.
Aaron Coleman, of Kansas City, Kansas, said in a tweeted statement that many of the people who voted for him in the primary over veteran state Representative Stan Frownfelter urged him not to drop out.
Frownfelter already has launched a write-in campaign for the November general election that has the backing of the Kansas House’s top Democrat, Minority Leader Tom Sawyer of Wichita.
“If for some reason he does win, I think it’s highly unlikely the Kansas House will allow Mr. Coleman to be seated,” Sawyer said in a statement to The Associated Press.
Sawyer said that if a House member challenges Coleman’s fitness, House leaders could appoint a committee to recommend whether Coleman should be seated, with a two-thirds majority needed to deny Coleman his seat.
Republicans don’t have a candidate for the seat on the November ballot.
Some Democrats disavowed Coleman because of incendiary social media posts.
They included one post saying he would “laugh and giggle” if a former GOP state lawmaker died of COVID-19, and another endorsing abortion up to the moment of birth.
On Facebook in June, Coleman said allegations that he engaged in online bullying, blackmail, and revenge porn were true.
He said his past behavior targeting several middle-school girls was that of “a sick and troubled” 14-year-old.