Politics & Government

12 file for seats on Wichita City Council

Twelve candidates filed for Wichita City Council races by Tuesday’s noon deadline, and a third of them are vying for a single district seat.

Four people seek to serve the remainder of former council member Michael O’Donnell’s unexpired term in southwest Wichita’s District 4, requiring a primary on Feb. 26.

They are Jeff Blubaugh, Joshua Blick, Craig Gabel and David Glover. O’Donnell stepped down after winning the District 25 seat in the Kansas Senate.

The general election is April 2.

Blick and Glover have tried for the seat before.

Blick, a consultant who recently started working for Bosley Tires, lost a close race against O’Donnell two years ago. He has served on the District 4 Advisory Board and on the board of zoning appeals.

He said he is excited that the seat drew a lot of interest because it shows people care about the district.

Glover, who works in the hardware department for Wal-Mart, ran for the seat in the 2007 primary and finished with 7 percent of the vote. District 4 too often is overlooked by the city, he said.

Blubaugh is a real estate agent and Goddard school board member. He ran unsuccessfully for a state House seat last fall.

Gabel is a businessman. He lost a campaign for a House seat by 15 votes last fall.

Paul Gray, who was appointed last week to temporarily fill the District 4 seat, is not seeking the seat in the election.

City Council incumbents Lavonta Williams in northeast Wichita’s District 1, James Clendenin in District 3 and vice mayor Janet Miller in District 6 all filed for re-election.

Clendenin and Miller each drew two challengers.

Clendenin, who is seeking his first full term after completing the final two years of an unexpired term created when Jim Skelton became a county commissioner, will face Clinton Coen and Mary Dean in District 3, which serves portions of south and southeast Wichita.

Coen, 21, is a student at Wichita State University who ran as a candidate in District 3 when Skelton left in 2011.

Dean, a retired Boeing employee and former school board candidate, is president of Kansas Justice Advocate, a social justice organization.

Richard Stephenson, an Occupy Wichita member who has appeared at council meetings to protest police-involved shootings, and Marty Mork, a recurrent candidate for local offices, filed to run against Miller in District 6, which covers parts of north and northwest Wichita. Mork ran for Wichita mayor in 2003, U.S. Congress in 2006 and 2004 and governor in 2010

Dave Thomas, a salesman, filed in District 1 to run against Williams. He filed for the Senate District 25 race as a Libertarian for the November general election, but suspended his campaign in October.

Council members are elected to four-year terms. They are paid around $35,000 a year.