by Tim Carpenter, The Topeka Capital Journal
A 20-year-old graduate of Topeka High School revealed Saturday a decision to campaign for the office of Kansas governor as a Libertarian.
Thomas Padgett, who works for a small business and has never sought elective office, said inspiration to join the field of about two dozen gubernatorial candidates was drawn from frustration with the 2016 presidential nominees of the Republican and Democratic parties. He voted for presidential candidate Gary Johnson, who headed the Libertarian Party’s ticket.
He has felt nagging disappointment with major party candidates for governor.
“I felt the two major parties weren’t putting forward candidates that represented me very well,” he said in an interview. “I want to be that third option.”
The eclectic field in the 2018 race includes three Republicans who have won statewide elections, a contingent of current and former legislators, several wealthy businessmen and a bundle of high-school students.
“I’m excited. I know it’s an uphill battle,” said Padgett, who vowed to bring a selflessness to the governor’s office. “I’ll do what’s right regardless. I’m not interested in becoming a millionaire.”..