Two candidates are already vying for Jeff Longwell’s west Wichita City Council seat as he begins his campaign for mayor ahead of the spring election.
Longwell has spent eight years as a City Council member for District 5. He cannot run for the seat again because of term limits.
Bryan Frye and Gary Bond are running to replace Longwell.
Frye, 48, ran against Longwell for the seat in 2007.
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“It was too soon for me,” Frye said. “I put my foot in the water and was really unprepared. Longwell ran a fantastic campaign and knew what he was doing.”
Frye recently filed paperwork listing Dan Unruh as his campaign treasurer, according to county documents.
Frye is a lifelong Wichita resident who majored in marketing at Wichita State University. He is the marketing director for KAKE-TV and president of the city’s park board.
He is involved in several other organizations, including Botanica, Cowtown, Music Theater Wichita, District 5 District Advisory Committee, the city’s 30-year steering committee and Wichita Wagonmasters. Frye is married with two children.
“I believe that serving the community is what you should do, and to that end, I feel like serving on the council is the next step,” Frye said.
Running for the District 5 seat is Bond’s first venture into public service.
The city’s recent sales tax issue was a catalyst for him.
“Public services is something that always interested me, and when the sales tax issue came up, I thought the way they did it, but not necessarily the four things they wanted to promote, wasn’t right,” Bond said.
“I thought, ‘There’s an opening here for me to be able to serve and to do those things better than what they did in the past.’ ”
Bond, 57, is in marketing and sales for Top Master, a countertop company. He is a lifelong Wichita resident who attended Butler Community College and WSU to study marketing and sales. He also is a member of the Wichita Area Builders Association.
Bond is married with three children and four grandchildren.
James Bailey is his campaign treasurer, according to county documents.
Bond said he is interested in looking at the management of city funds, particularly for infrastructure and services like fire and police. He says he is also interested in re-evaluating the city’s involvement in economic development.
“We’ve got to change something instead of just throwing money at companies that want to move. We need to help companies that are already here now and want to grow.”
A filing deadline for the spring city election is Jan. 27.