Calls to Resign for Young Lawmaker After 2 Arrests

Democratic Kan. state Rep. Aaron Coleman busted for drunk driving after past domestic-battery arrest
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 29, 2021 11:20 AM CST
2 Arrests in One Month for Kansas Lawmaker
Rep. Aaron Coleman, D-Kansas City, speaks at the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka, Kan., on Jan. 22, 2021.   (Evert Nelson/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP, File)

A 21-year-old embattled Kansas lawmaker was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving—his second arrest in less than a month—and is facing fresh calls for his resignation or removal from office. A Kansas trooper arrested Aaron Coleman around 1am Saturday on Interstate 70 near Lawrence, the Kansas Highway Patrol said. Coleman was taken to the Douglas County Jail, where he bonded out hours later, per the AP.

At the time of the arrest, Coleman was already out on bond from an 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. Both Kansas House Speaker Ron Ryckman, a Republican, and Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly have joined the chorus of those calling for Coleman to resign. If he refuses to resign, Kelly said, the Legislature should remove him from office, saying his latest arrest "is further evidence that he is not fit to serve in the Kansas House of Representatives." Coleman didn't immediately return phone and email messages seeking comment.

(Read more Kansas stories.)

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