Politics & Government

State representative to challenge Longwell for Wichita mayor

Wichita mayor cites several cities as success stories

Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell regularly points to several cities where he says new Minor League ballparks successfully spurred development. Charlotte, Durham, N.C., and Indianapolis are the three places Longwell touts.
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Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell regularly points to several cities where he says new Minor League ballparks successfully spurred development. Charlotte, Durham, N.C., and Indianapolis are the three places Longwell touts.

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.

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