By Owen Heimsoth | United States
Recently, 71 Republic interviewed Ethan Randleas, an 18-year-old running for Governor in Kansas. He is one of five teenagers who has declared runs in the state.
71R: To start, tell us a little about yourself.
ER: I am an 18-year-old libertarian candidate for governor in Kansas.
71R: When did you start thinking about running for Governor?
ER: I began to think about running shortly after Tyler Ruzich [A teen running for the Republican nomination] declared his run.
71R: And what was the moment when you said, “Okay, I’m actually going to do this”
ER: I decided to really do this after researching the various candidates in Kansas and seeing that all had little to no care for liberty or freedom.
71R: How strong would you say that the liberty movement is in Kansas?
ER: The liberty movement here is growing. It is not quite where we want it to be yet, but hopefully, we can grow it enough during the campaign to leave a foundation for generations to come.
71R: What shaped your libertarian ideology?
ER: The thing that shaped my ideology the most was simply reading and understanding the founding documents. The constitution and federalist papers were both very libertarian documents, and when one can fully understand that, libertarian political philosophy is the only philosophy that makes sense.
71R: When you announced your candidacy, did people at your school begin to treat you differently?
ER: Not really, everyone really treated me the same.
71R: When did you become interested in politics?
ER: I became interested at a young age, mostly because of my families interest in politics.
71R: You picked Cameron Tims as your running mate, another teenager, what caused you to pick him?
ER: I picked Cameron because he is most definitely for the liberty movement and he truly cares about the future of our state.
71R: There are currently 12 people running in the Republican primary, how do you plan on rising above and making a name for yourself in an extremely crowded primary? (Note: Ethan soon after switched to the LP)
ER: I switched party affiliation to libertarian, partly to avoid the crowded field of GOP nominees who shut out the teenage candidates.
71R: In the primary, you will face Tyler Ruzich, another Republican teenager. What is the key to beating him out for the youth vote? (Note: Ethan soon after switched to the LP)
ER: If I was still in that primary, the key would be to paint him in his true colors, which is that Ruzich is a statist. He does a great job of shaping his rhetoric to match his crowd, but he clearly supports big government and out of control spending.
71R: According to sources, the only other declared Libertarian running thus far is Thomas Padgett, a 20-year-old from Topeka. How will you beat him in the primary and if you win, how will you bring more attention towards the LP in the General Election?
I think the way to win the primary as well as gain more attention for the LP is to really be active in grassroots-style campaigning. If I can make a good connection to the voter that will mean as much or more than any type of rhetoric or policy prescriptions.
71R: What is the key to beating out the adults who obviously have much more political experience than you?
ER: The key to beating out older candidates is simple. Promote true liberty and freedom, seeing as how most voters want those things at the end of the day.
71R: Should you win, what would your first action in office be?
ER: My first action would be to repeal the state income tax.
71R: If you do not win, will you continue to pursue a career in politics?
ER: If I do not win, I will certainly continue to pursue politics and continue to work to grow the liberty movement.
We at 71 Republic would like to thank Ethan for doing this interview and wish him luck in the upcoming election.