Politics & Government

State representative to challenge Longwell for Wichita mayor

State Rep. Brandon Whipple filed papers Tuesday to start a campaign for mayor of Wichita, the first sitting office holder seeking to unseat incumbent Jeff Longwell.

“Our city right now is on autopilot,” Whipple said. “We’re seeing a lot of old ideas being dressed up as new ideas.”

Whipple acknowledged that the city is moving forward on some fronts with the construction of a new baseball stadium, ongoing improvements along Douglas Avenue and the possible renovation or replacement of the Century II Convention and Performing Arts Center.

“That’s great for downtown,” Whipple said. “But I represent a part of town that doesn’t feel like they’re getting a fair share of development. We need to make sure we all are progressing together.”

Whipple, a Democrat, has served in the Statehouse for seven years, representing a south Wichita district. He didn’t officially enter the mayor race, but did file a form appointing his wife, Chelsea, as campaign treasurer.

In addition to Longwell, candidates who have filed for the office include Brock Booker, Marty Mork and Ian Demory.