Joshua Kyler Hoggan, an 18-year-old teen from Roy, Utah, has announced his intent to run for mayor of his town — the same town in which he was arrested in 2012 for plotting to bomb his high school in a Columbine-inspired attack.
Hoggan, then 16, was convicted in 2012 of possession of weapons of mass destruction and served six months in juvenile detention. He and an older classmate at Roy High School were arrested on suspicion of plotting a bomb attack on the school. Authorities at the time said that the teenagers’ plans included a detailed plot, school blueprints and plans to steal an airplane and fly away after the attack. Local police were tipped off after a classmate received text messages from Hoggan in which he discussed his intent to steal an airplane from a local airport.
Hoggan now maintains he never possessed explosives and did not intend to actually go through with the plot. He claims his stint in juvenile detention helped him deal with personal issues he had during high school, and that he is now rehabilitated, ready and willing to lead the town of 37,000 people.
“People should trust me because I have proven one thing: that I am human,” Hoggan wrote in an email to the Associated Press. “I have made mistakes, just like the rest of us. We’ve all made mistakes in our past, and I am no exception.”
Hoggan will be on the ballot for the primary election on Tuesday along with current mayor Joe Ritchie and Councilman Willard Cragun. Voters will choose two out of the three candidates to go on to the general election. Ritchie, who has been mayor of the town for eight years, says that Hoggan has every right to remain on the ballot but is unsure as to his true intentions and state of rehabilitation.
“I’m not so sure how sincere he is,” Ritchie said. “I think he’s in it for the notoriety.”
But Hoggan insists that it is not attention he is seeking with his bid for mayor.
“Many people still have serious questions about me that need answered,” Hoggan wrote. “I think that, if nothing else, the citizens of Roy City used a valuable opportunity to have their concerns addressed.”
Hoggan has just completed his first semester as a political science student at Weber State University in Ogden. He hopes to have a career in politics.