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Meet the 4 high school students running for Kansas governor

Teens running for governor
Meet the high school students running for Kansas governor 02:45

In Wichita, Kansas, CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds found four exceptional high school students who are smart, politically active, forward-thinking -- and running for governor.

Governor of Kansas.

"I mean governor? Come on, right?" Reynolds asked the kids.

"Why not?" said Tyler Ruzich.

Why not, indeed, because it seems the 19th-century state leaders never thought to include age requirements to run for governor -- or any requirements.

Clockwise from top left: Ethan Randleas, Dominic Scavuzzo, Tyler Ruzich and Jack Bergeson. CBS News

"You could live in Spain. It wouldn't matter," said Jack Bergeson.

Last year, when he was 15, Jack filed to run as a Democrat.

"I'm going to go and fight for what the people want and I think when you give people a true, honest choice that is very rare in American politics they're more likely to vote for you," he said.

Tyler is a Republican.

"Of course there's a chance we can win. No matter how big that chance is, what matters is that the four of us have a chance of winning this election," he said.

Neal Allen CBS News

Neal Allen, a political scientist at Wichita State University, doesn't agree.

"There's really no chance of one of these kids becoming the governor of Kansas," Allen said.

"None?" Reynolds asked.

"No," Allen said. "None of these teenagers has any experience in elected office, but our president didn't have any experience in elected office until he was elected, so maybe we're seeing a trend."

Gov. Sam Brownback is leaving office, and the race to succeed him is crowded with conventional candidates.

But Republican Dominic Scavuzzo is undaunted.

"A youthful point of view in a field full of career politicians could be really good in Topeka," he said.

Ethan Randleas is a Libertarian whose friends say they're not surprised his hat's in the ring.

"Yeah, 'Ethan running for governor. Yeah, that's something he'd do.' So it's nothing crazy. I haven't had any crazy reactions to it at all," he said.

Their positions vary.

"I will decriminalize almost every drug," Jack said.

"Most important as a public school student … is public education," Tyler said.

"Transparency is one of my main messages," Dominic said.

"To cut taxes, you have to cut spending as well," Ethan said.

Campaigning would have to be an extracurricular activity for them, but they all say they can adjust their schedules to study and stump.

"You may say, 'Oh, well we're not serious about it.' We fit those legal requirements, and if we're running we're in it to win it," Tyler said.

"Why not run for class president?" Reynolds asked.

"Already did that!" Tyler replied.

The party primaries are next August. Election day is Nov. 6, 2018.

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