Story by Anna Muckenfuss, News Reporter
Max Correa, an Appalachian State freshman, announced his candidacy for governor of Kansas. Correa is a biochemistry major and has no familial ties in Kansas, nor has he ever stepped foot in the state.
“When the opportunity arose for me to enter politics, I realized that I could make something out of this chance to run for governor,” Correa said. “The Kansas governing body shut down the idea of a dog running for office because it wasn’t a human being, but after looking into it and seeing there were no regulations regarding human candidates, I decided to launch my campaign.”
To run for the office of governor, several states have passed certain regulations and rules that must be followed in order for the candidacy to be accepted. According to their individual constitutions, six states require a candidate to be at least 18 to run, and two of those states require that the candidates be a registered voter. South Dakota is the only state that requires a candidate to be 21 to run for the office of governor, while six states require an age of 25, Oklahoma requires an age of 31, and 34 states require an age of 30. Kansas and Vermont are the only states with no age requirement.
William Hicks, a professor of political science at Appalachian State, said that young people in North Carolina can run for office. It all just depends on how you define “young.”
“To run for Governor in this state you have to be at least 30. There aren’t strong reasons to assume, absent other information, that a 30 year old is significantly more capable than a 29-year-old. Supporters of amending eligibility criteria like this would argue that whether or not a person is competent should be up to voters (not an arbitrary age requirement), and we shouldn’t limit the talent pool. I see some value in this argument.”
“I admit that my weakness in this election would be my youth,” Correa said. “Some might think that just because I’m young and have no experience in politics that I won’t be able to do the job, but because I’m so young I have a fresh set of eyes. That being said, I can bring new ideals and policies that younger people have been pushing for that the baby boomer generation and Generation X and Y have not been able to accomplish.”
Correa’s campaign is designed to appeal to the younger generations that would begin voting during the election season. Correa’s campaign also draws elements from Jewish concepts he learned as a child. To help resolve conflict within the state legislature, Correa said he would use a concept called tikkun olam, which roughly translates to “repairing the world.” Correa also said he hopes to introduce the idea of communal settlements that can be found in Israel called kibbutz.
“People within these communities would also work in the community,” Correa said. “I want to take this idea and mold it, so that families won’t have to pay thousands of dollars for their children to have a college education. The kids can instead work part time and use the profits to go towards their tuition.”
If elected to the office of governor, Correa said he will drop out of App State and move to Topeka and enroll as a part-time student at the University of Kansas. With many issues to address as governor, Correa plans to devote time to the opioid crisis.
The opioid crisis has spread all across the country. According to North Carolina Health and Human Services, from 1999 to 2016, more than 12,000 North Carolinians died from opioid overdose. To prevent more deaths by overdose, Correa said he wants to looks to rural areas of the state.
“The Opioid Crisis is something that all Americans, regardless of identity or class, need to come together to fight. I hope to lower rates of overdoses by offering state-owned properties to pharmaceutical companies so as to reduce the cost of Narcan production, making the lifesaving medication both affordable and more available to Kansans and Americans writ large,” according to Correa’s campaign website.
Even though Correa launched his campaign before talking with him, Correa says Hicks influenced him to run for office.
“I’m happy to see that he (Correa) is becoming so involved in politics,” Hicks said. “I’m always in favor of young folks getting involved in politics. If nothing else, it teaches them valuable lessons about political processes.”
“I want to help Kansas become a powerhouse. I’m not afraid of getting a little dirt on my hands. Regardless of who you are, I’ll fight for you,” according to Correa’s campaign website.