Sedgwick County Commissioner Dave Unruh said Friday he is considering running for mayor of Wichita in 2015.
Unruh, a Republican, hasn’t made an official decision, but he said “a group of friends are talking to me about it.”
Mayor Carl Brewer, who is in his second term, can’t run again for the office because of term limits.
Unruh, 69, said that being mayor would be a “great opportunity for me.”
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He said his 10 years as a county commissioner have helped him become a consensus-builder, and he said he could collaborate with county and city leaders.
Unruh said he already had decided not to run again for the District 1 seat on the commission, which covers the northeast corner of Sedgwick County. His term expires in 2014.
Wichita City Council member Jeff Longwell, also a Republican, had planned to make a run for mayor, but he said area leaders persuaded him to run for Commissioner Karl Peterjohn’s District 3 seat covering the western part of the county. Longwell said he is young enough at 52 to become mayor later but feels he is needed on the county side of local politics now.
Peterjohn, a Republican, earlier announced his intention to run for a second term.
Longwell said he would support Unruh as mayor.
“Dave would certainly be a front-runner for the mayoral position,” Longwell said. “I agree with his politics.”
Even though the mayoral election is three years out, Longwell said, “I can’t imagine someone’s going to emerge that’s better than Dave.”
Unruh attended Longwell’s announcement that he would run for the commission.
District 5 Commissioner Jim Skelton, who represents the southeast part of the county, said he also would support Unruh as mayor.
“I like that idea,” Skelton said. “Dave is a great guy. He’s a good guy to work with.”