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Kansas candidate behind revenge porn wins state House seat

Aaron Coleman
Aaron Coleman(Aaron Coleman/Facebook)
Published: Nov. 5, 2020 at 4:46 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Democratic candidate who admitted to circulating revenge porn and who was charged at the age of 14 with threatening to shoot a high school student has won a state House seat in Kansas.

Aaron Coleman was the only candidate on the ballot in his Kansas City, Kansas, district in Tuesday’s election, but he faced the veteran state lawmaker whom he defeated in the Democratic primary and a Republican candidate who ran as write-ins.

Unofficial election results showed 3,496 votes for Coleman and 2,013 total write-in votes. The local Board of Canvassers is scheduled to meet Nov. 16 to review provisional ballots cast by voters whose eligibility wasn’t certain.

Wyandotte County Election Commissioner Bruce Newby said it’s “very rare” for all write-in votes to go to a single candidate. Newby said he doesn’t have a countywide count of provisional ballots yet, but that there would almost certainly not be enough in Coleman’s district to change the result. About 3,000 ballots mailed to voters countywide had yet to arrive, but Newby said it’s likely that only several hundred will arrive by Friday’s deadline. Even if all of them arrived on time, he said, only a fraction would be for Coleman’s district.

“Quite honestly, there’s no hope there,” Newby said of overcoming Coleman’s victory.

Coleman tweeted Wednesday that a “victory of the working class” in the district was “almost certain.” He did not immediately return cellphone and text messages seeking comment Thursday.

Touting a liberal platform, the 20-year-old Coleman defeated Democratic Rep. Stan Frownfelter by 14 votes in the primary.

Coleman was charged in May 2015 with a felony count of making a criminal threat but later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of harassment. The state Democratic Party disowned Coleman in August, and spokeswoman Reeves Oyster pointed Thursday to a statement from Chairwoman Vicki Hiatt calling Coleman “unfit to serve” in the Legislature.

He acknowledged in a June post on Facebook that allegations of revenge porn and harassing middle school girls online were true but called them the actions of a “sick and troubled 14-year-old boy.” The state Democratic Party disowned Coleman in August when an ex-girlfriend accused him of being physically abusive to her in late December.

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