19-year-old Democrat wins primary race, admits to blackmail, revenge porn

Aaron Coleman. Credit: Facebook.


Steve Vockrodt

The Kansas City Star

Rep. Stan Frownfelter, a Kansas City Democrat, will launch a write-in campaign as a last-ditch effort to retain his seat after unexpectedly losing in the August primary to a teenage candidate.

Frownfelter, first sworn in to the Kansas Legislature in 2007, lost on Aug. 4 to Aaron Coleman, a 19-year-old Democrat who won by a mere 14 votes. No Republican filed for the 37th House District, which covers portions of Wyandotte County.

Coleman, however, has been rejected by several Democrats and Republicans alike for revelations about his behavior and fitness for public office.

Coleman on social media mused about a former Republican lawmaker getting COVID-19 and dying. Women have come forward with allegations against Coleman, one saying she was blackmailed by him in middle school with nude photographs and another saying he relentlessly bullied her.

Coleman has admitted to those allegations but has said he has grown since that time.

In a statement, Frownfelter said he was urged to pursue a write-in effort. On Monday, he said he was considering a recount but appears to have eschewed that idea, which would cost him roughly $2,000.

“The voters in our community didn’t have a full understanding of my opponent, or the kind of person he really is,” Frownfelter said in a statement. “It was easy for him to have quick conversations with voters, trying to get their vote, without revealing this dark side of him that we see now so clearly. This is why I encourage every voter to truly educate themselves on the candidates before casting their ballot and to get out there and vote. Every single vote matters.”

Rep. Tom Sawyer, a Wichita Democrat and House Minority Leader, also supported Frownfelter’s write-in bid.

“There is a clear and obvious contrast here,” Sawyer said in a statement, “that demonstrates Rep. Frownfelter as the sole person in this race who is fit for public office.”

Frownfelter is not the only write-in candidate.

Kristina Smith, a paralegal and treasurer of the Wyandotte County Republican Party, is pursuing a write-in candidacy as well.

When asked about the write-in efforts on Monday, Coleman said he looked forward to continuing his campaign.

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