Anti-Coleman PAC forms to undercut Democratic nominee for Kansas House

    Gov. Kelly's administration will be turning off all interior lights on Tuesday, Jan.19 as part of a nationwide tribute to those who have lost their lives to COVID-19. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

    TOPEKA — A progressive political organizer took the unusual step of forming a political action committee to undermine Democratic nominee Aaron Coleman’s campaign for the Kansas House.

    Coleman, a teenager from Kansas City, Kan., narrowly defeated seven-term incumbent Rep. Stan Frownfelter in the August primary. He prevailed despite expressing hope Republicans not wearing a mask during the pandemic catch the virus and die. He has been accused of harassing and blackmailing women and allegedly assaulted a girlfriend.

    He toyed with the idea of petitioning for removal of his name from the November ballot, but now appears interested in staying the race. There are Republican and Democratic candidates organizing write-in campaigns.

    Edward Rosson, who has worked for the Progressive Turnout Project in Kansas and for Sen. Bernie Sanders in Iowa, said the PAC would strive to inform voters in the 37th District about why Coleman could be viewed as unfit to serve in the Kansas Legislature.

    “Aaron Coleman doesn’t represent progressive values,” Rosson said in an interview. “I do think the Aaron Coleman situation in the 37th District crosses partisan lines.”

    Coleman said in response to formation of the Stop Coleman PAC that corporate dark money was pouring into the district “to protect their racket” and to make certain housing evictions go forward. He has shared concern on social media COVID-19 limitations on evictions and foreclosures could be lifted.

    “Remember this. Corporate Democrats decide who gets to run or not,” Coleman said on a Twitter post. “The elites have no care in the world for the people of my district who live at the poverty line. They don’t care if voters nominated me, regardless of my sins I apologized for in June.”

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    Tim Carpenter
    Tim Carpenter has reported on Kansas for 35 years. He covered the Capitol for 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal and previously worked for the Lawrence Journal-World and United Press International. He has been recognized for investigative reporting on Kansas government and politics. He won the Kansas Press Association's Victor Murdock Award six times. The William Allen White Foundation honored him four times with its Burton Marvin News Enterprise Award. The Kansas City Press Club twice presented him its Journalist of the Year Award and more recently its Lifetime Achievement Award. He earned an agriculture degree at Kansas State University and grew up on a small dairy and beef cattle farm in Missouri. He is an amateur woodworker and drives Studebaker cars.