Youngest Candidate Running For Office This Spring

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Clinton Coen is an 18-year-old college sophomore and the youngest candidate running for a Wichita Council seat in the March 1 primary.

James Clendenin, Mark Gietzen, Hoyt Hillman, and Coen are the four candidates running for the District 3 seat in Southeast Wichita.

"People are wanting me to listen to them. People are irritated and they don't have somebody that they feel listens to them. That makes me feel like we need more people to listen to the people," said Coen, who called himself a limited government candidate.

On Thursday afternoon, Coen walked door-to-door hoping to find someone to listen and talk to him.

"They ought to at least listen to him. If we'd listen to a lot of our younger people, things might end up better, things might end up worse. You never know until you actually give something a try," said Martin Ecklund, Wichita resident.

Coen is learning from others who campaigned at a young age. Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Bill Gayle was 24 when he ran for City Council for the first time.

"I had a number of people ask me, 'Are you old enough to run?" You only have to be 18 and I'm 24," said Gayle. "As long as you're old enough to be a registered voter and live in the council district, you're definitely able to run."

No matter the outcome, Coen feels he will walk away with a good learning experience.

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