21-Year-Old Kansas Lawmaker Arrested for Second Time in Month, Facing Resignation Calls

A 21-year-old Kansas lawmaker was arrested for the second time in less than a month on Saturday, spurring fresh calls for him to resign or be ousted from his position in office, the Associated Press reported. Aaron Coleman was arrested by a Kansas trooper at about 1 a.m. on Interstate 70 for suspected drunken driving, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol, and then taken to the Douglas County Jail before being released on bond hours later.

Coleman, a progressive Democrat, has been a member of the Kansas House of Representatives representing the 37th district since being elected in 2020. He was also arrested on October 30 for alleged domestic battery during a confrontation with his 18-year-old brother, the AP reported.

Democratic Governor Laura Kelly is among those who have called on the young lawmaker to resign or be removed from his position after the second arrest.

"Mr. Coleman's most recent arrest is further evidence that he is not fit to serve in the Kansas House of Representatives and that his continued presence in the Legislature is a disservice to his constituents," she said in a statement.

Kansas House Speaker Ron Ryckman, a Republican, state Representative Stephanie Clayton and House Democratic Leader Tom Sawyer have also joined the group of state politicians calling for Coleman to step down. Sawyer said in a statement Sunday evening that Coleman appeared to be in "dire need of help," NPR reported.

"For the sake of the state of Kansas, his constituents, and himself, he should resign and concentrate on getting the help he badly needs," Sawyer said. "The stress of the legislature is not a healthy environment for someone in this mental state."

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Aaron Coleman Arrested Again
21-year-old Kansas lawmaker Aaron Coleman, D-Kansas City, was arrested over the weekend on suspicion of drunken driving — his second arrest in less than a month. Above, Coleman speaks at the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka, Kansas, January 22, 2021. Evert Nelson/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP

Coleman did not immediately return phone and email messages left Monday morning by the AP seeking comment.

At the time of the arrest, Coleman was already out on bond from the Oct. 30 domestic battery arrest. In that case, he allegedly pushed, hit and spit on his 18-year-old brother in a fight that erupted because the brother was going to get baptized, according to court documents.

The Kansas City, Kansas, Democrat has been embroiled in controversy since before he took office after being elected in 2020 and has acknowledged past abuses against girls and young women. A legislative committee reprimanded Coleman in writing in February over those abuses.

Last month, Coleman also was banned from the Kansas Department of Labor's offices over allegations of disruptive behavior. Coleman said he was trying to help constituents.

Coleman Faces Resignation Calls
21-year-old Kansas Representative Aaron Coleman was arrested for the second time in less than a month on Saturday, spurring fresh calls for him to resign or be ousted from office. Above, Coleman sits for a portrait for the Legislature's website on December 8, 2020, in a basement hallway of the Statehouse in Topeka, Kansas. John Hanna/AP Photo