2nd Derby council member enters race

A second Derby City Council member has filed for the Sedgwick County commission seat held by Gwen Welshimer.

Chuck Warren, a Republican, seeks the seat in District 5, which includes Derby. He joins Derby Mayor Dion Avello and Wichita City Council member Jim Skelton in the race for the Republican nomination.

Welshimer, a Democrat, is seeking re-election.

Warren, 57, is managing broker for Coldwell Banker/ Plaza Real Estate in Derby. He says he would focus on economic development as a commissioner, citing growth in Derby, where he's been a City Council member for 11 years.

"I believe we can achieve that through making sure we keep the bureaucracy down to a minimum and make it easy for businesses to come in and operate in the Wichita area," Warren said.

He said he'd also like to see improved communication between the county and cities within its boundaries, particularly Wichita.

"It hasn't always been the best. It's a little strained," he said.

Warren describes himself as a fiscal and social conservative.

One of the main issues commissioners face is whether to build a new jail, which has struggled with overcrowding.

"There are two things people want," Warren said. "One is they want to keep taxes down. The second thing they want is to have safe streets. We're going to have to figure something out from that standpoint. The answers may not be easy."

Darrell Duncan, a certified public accountant who is serving as treasurer of Warren's campaign, said Warren "understands business and how government works."

Warren's experience on the Derby council would benefit him on the commission, said Larry Gould, a campaign adviser.

"He's not new to the political process," Gould said. "He's... well-known around Derby and fairly well known around the county. It can take a year to two to get up to speed when you're new. Chuck, I think, will hit the ground running pretty well."

The filing deadline is June 10.