Kansas officials say dog can't run for governor

Kansas officials say a dog whose owner filed for the animal to run for governor will be disqualified, even though there are no state statutes covering candidates' qualifications.

The Kansas City Star reports that Terran Woolley of Hutchinson, Kan., entered his three-year-old wire terrier, Angus, in the race after news reports surfaced that the state does not have requirements governing who can run for the office.

“A dog will not be allowed to file and put its name on the ballot,” said Bryan Caskey, director of elections for the Kansas secretary of State’s office.

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Six teenagers also filed for the gubernatorial race following a report from the Star last year that noted no age or residency requirements for candidates.

At the time, Caskey told the Star that he was unsure of the legal implications of a dog running for office.

“I’m not sure how to answer that,” Caskey said at the time. “Because I cannot point to a law that sets any qualifications to run for governor. So a dog has never tried to file — I don’t know what would happen if one tried to. ... I can’t point you to a law that says anything about the qualifications to run for governor.”

“Under Kansas law, there is no law governing the qualifications for governor, not one,” Caskey added. “So there’s seriously nothing on the books that lays out anything, no age, no residency, no experience. Nothing.”

Lawmakers in the state are currently considering a bill to add requirements for gubernatorial candidates. A plan currently under consideration would require applicants to be human and be at least 18 years of age. However, the bill is not retroactive and cannot affect the 2018 election.