June 4, 2024 — Luke Wakeman, a resident of Leawood, Kan., and a senior-to-be at Blue Valley North High School in Overland Park, Kan., has been elected governor of the 2024 session of the American Legion Boys State of Kansas. The announcement was made this evening during the Kansas Boys State evening retreat at Kansas State University in Manhattan.

Wakeman, the Kansas Boys State Federalist Party candidate, and his lieutenant governor running mate, Hugh Griggs, a resident of Lawrence, Kan., and a senior-to-be at Bishop Seabury Academy in Lawrence, won the election over the Nationalist Party team of governor candidate Tucker Leck, a resident of Neodesha, Kan., and a senior-to-be at Neodesha High School, and his lieutenant governor running mate, Rasheed Mantara, a resident of Leawood, and a senior-to-be at Blue Valley High School in Overland Park.

Election results for other state offices:
(Name, Hometown, Year in High School / High School Attend – all cities/high schools in Kansas)
Secretary of State — Connor Chaffin, Nationalist, Olathe, senior-to-be at Olathe Northwest High School, defeated Calum Lynn, Federalist, Olathe, senior-to-be at Olathe West High School
Attorney General — Mucho Bagirisoko, Federalist, Kansas City, senior-to-be at Wyandotte High School, defeated Evan Scruggs, Nationalist, Kansas City, senior-to-be at Piper High School
State Treasurer — Cru Akin, Nationalist, Shawnee, junior-to-be at Mill Valley High School, defeated Collin Jost, Federalist, Seneca, senior-to-be at Nemaha Central High School

Kansas Boys State Governor Wakeman will give his inaugural address tomorrow (Wednesday, June 5) at 8 p.m. at K-State’s McCain Auditorium. The event will conclude with the Kansas Boys State band, chorus and talent show.

Wednesday evening’s festivities kickoff at 7:30 p.m. with a flag retirement ceremony at the World War II Memorial in front of McCain Auditorium. The event is an observance of the proper respect for the American flag and how unserviceable flags are properly disposed. The honor guard from the American Legion Pearce-Keller Post No.17 in Manhattan will present the ceremony. Dr. John Lindholm, a 1949 KSU graduate who provided the dog tags as a model for the “Tags of Honor” sculpture at the World War II Memorial, was a longtime Kansas Boys State staff member as a Legionnaire advisor before passing away in January 2020. Both events on Wednesday night are open to the public.

High school students from across the State of Kansas are participating in the 2024 session of the American Legion Boys State of Kansas, which started on June 2 and ends Saturday, June 8, at Kansas State University in Manhattan. This is the program’s 32nd consecutive session at KSU and 86th overall. The Kansas Boys State program includes students who have just completed their junior year of high school (will be seniors in the fall) and sophomore year of high school (will be juniors in the fall).

The objective of the ALBSK is to inculcate a sense of individual obligation to community, state and nation. Kansas Boys State provides a relevant, interactive, problem-solving experience in leadership and teamwork that develops self-identity, promotes mutual respect and instills civic responsibility. Boys State is a “learning by doing” political exercise that simulates elections, political parties and government at the state, county and local levels, providing opportunities to lead under pressure, showcasing character and working effectively within a team. It’s also an opportunity to gain pride and respect for government and the price paid by members of the military to preserve democracy.