A progressive political action committee called Run for Something, that is designed to help candidates in their first or second race, is encouraging young candidates who would plan to caucus as Democrats if elected to begin their political careers.
“We work with candidates who are running for offices like school board, city council, county commissioner and state legislature,” said Amanda Litman with Run for Something. “These are places where, if you’re new to politics, it’s a really good entry point.”
Young people are not getting traction in the political process at the state level, yet.
“Only five percent of state legislators across the country are under the age of 35,” said Litman. “This is a population that is not being represented in our local government, which has an impact on policy, but also on broader elections. If you don’t have younger people in the pipeline earlier, you don’t have younger people and then youngish people and then middle aged people in the pipeline later.”
Run for Something has several young candidates they are assisting in Kansas.
“We’re working with Matthew Calcara, who is running for the Kansas Statehouse in District 30,” said Litman. “He’s a Kansas native. If he wins, he’ll be the first openly LGBT person elected to the state legislature. We’re working with Jared McKee who is running for Manhattan City Commission. We’re also working with Katrina Lewison who is running for the school board in USD 383. She’s an Army veteran. She wants to fight and be a voice for parents and residents in the district, as well as Justin Adrian, he’s running for Shawnee City Council in Ward 3. He’s a high school social studies teacher who was born and raised in Kansas.”
The website for prospective candidates is runforsomething.net.