Aaron Coleman, the 19-year-old running for a Kansas House seat who dropped out and then re-entered the race in the span of the week after admitting to being a little shit in high school, is now being called out for being an even bigger shit more recently. After his win in the Democratic primary, Coleman openly admitted that he had harassed and blackmailed girls in his middle school five years ago. He apologized in a statement on Twitter and blamed that behavior on growing up in poverty, a “broken home,” and not having enough “self-respect.” He attributed his actions to his youth and claimed that he had learned and wasn’t that same person. Protecting women even became part of his platform. But according to Coleman’s ex-girlfriend, this is all bullshit.
Taylor Passow told the Intercept that she met Coleman in November of 2019 and the two entered into a romantic relationship, but it took a turn in December on a trip away together where Coleman tried to pressure Passow into having a threesome. After repeatedly declining, Passow claims she threatened to break up with Coleman, after which she says he physically abused her. “He sat there for a few seconds, then he jumped on top of me, put his hands around my throat and started squeezing, and slapped me three times, and said ‘I don’t know where the fuck you think you’re going,’” she told the Intercept. In text messages provided to the Intercept, Coleman does not admit to choking Passow but instead writes, “You dumped me and I smacked you and you smacked me and I immediately got up and stormed out of the hot tub.” Other text messages show that Coleman also told Passow to take her own life during an argument, writing “Air out the clip into your head,” among other messages. Passow broke up with Coleman in January.
After claiming he would drop out of the House race last week, on Tuesday Coleman announced he would actually remain in the race, and Passow claims that Coleman contacted her the Sunday prior to state that he would not be dropping out. Passow told the Intercept that Coleman attempted to make amends which Passow understandably declined to do, instead, telling the 19-year old repeat abuser that she would speak publicly about what he had done to her. Coleman reportedly responded with, “I deeply apologize for any mistakes I might have made. I know I wasn’t a perfect boyfriend. But I’m not dropping out of the race. I’ve been honest with the public about everything that I’ve done, if you want to accuse me of something, you’re welcome to do that, and I’ll be honest then as well. No one is perfect. I’m not gonna try to stop you if you want to tell your story to the papers or whoever, but I’m gonna make sure that story is told truthfully.”
On his campaign website, Coleman describes himself as a victim of circumstance. He blames the state of Kansas for taking away his mother’s job as a teacher and pushing his family deeper into poverty, for not taking care of his father after he became disabled, and his elementary school for leaving him with “severe trauma” which encouraged him to run for governor in 2018. He also fancies himself a victim of the Democratic party, after he got confirmation that his donation page had been deactivated by ActBlue Wednesday morning because Coleman’s behavior did not align with the site’s mission. He frames his suffering as the voice calling him to serve in public office. He is, in his own mind, a martyr fighting to save others from the same suffering he claims he endured at the whim of others.
Aaron Coleman’s assertion that he deserves to run for office and to be forgiven despite no political experience and a past that is barely in the past at all, is reflective of the entitlement with which cis white men seem to be born. Coleman speaks as if he is owed a House seat or owed the forgiveness of a woman he slapped. Perhaps he isn’t old enough to understand that life doesn’t work that way—and if he isn’t old enough to grasp such a simple concept then he has fuck-all business trying to represent his district.