Mayor Carl Brewer announced his bid for re-election Thursday evening, pledging to keep the city's property tax rate steady and provide a safe community for everyone.
Brewer acknowledged poor economic conditions locally and nationwide, but he said Wichita can be proud of its accomplishments, such as Cargill's new downtown facility and the opening of Wichita Area Technical College's new facilities at Jabara Airport.
He said it takes four votes to get things done in City Hall.
"Without teamwork and partners on the council, our city government could come to a grinding halt," he said.
Never miss a local story.
Brewer listed the downtown revitalization plan, flood reduction on West Street, the addition of police and fire personnel, and a steady property tax rate as key accomplishments in the past four years.
Cessna Aircraft chairman emeritus Russ Meyer introduced Brewer and advocated for his election, as he did in 2007 when Brewer announced his plan to run against incumbent Mayor Carlos Mayans.
"Somebody asked me who might run against Carl, and I said, 'Anybody who is dumb enough to run against Carl is not qualified to be the mayor of Wichita,' " Meyer said.
Brewer's challengers so far include newcomer Clinton Coen, who advocates for limited government, and Darrell Leffew, who ran for mayor in 2007 and has criticized incentive packages the city provides businesses.
Roughly 75 people attended Brewer's election kickoff at his campaign headquarters on the northwest corner of Second and St. Francis.
Among attendees were Jack DeBoer, chairman of Consolidated Holdings and owner of WaterWalk; downtown developer David Burk; theater mogul Bill Warren; council member Sue Schlapp; Dave Wells, president of Key Construction; and Jeff Turner, CEO of Spirit AeroSystems, where Brewer worked before being elected in 2007.
Brewer was elected as District 1 City Council member in 2001. He became the city's first popularly elected African-American mayor in 2007.