A two-term Wichita City Council member has entered the race for the 1st District seat on the Sedgwick County Commission.
Pete Meitzner announced his candidacy Tuesday. He says south-central Kansas is in a positive mode, and he wants to keep the momentum going by joining the Sedgwick County Commission.
"There is just this void that I can feel where we can bring Sedgwick County into a more active participation and play a more active role in all the betterment we have been seeing in the community," Meitzner says.
Meitzner is a Republican with a background in the banking and telecom industries. He says one priority if elected would be to increase the cooperation among leaders in the city of Wichita and cities throughout Sedgwick County.
"Our region contributes nearly 50 cents of every new dollar because we make things," Meitzner says. "We need to make sure Topeka and the state recognize the value of what we do."
Meitzner was first elected to City Council in 2011. He also was among the Republican candidates who entered the race for the 4th Congressional District seat vacated by Mike Pompeo last year. The Kansas Republican Party eventually selected Ron Estes as their nominee. Estes won the special election last April.
Meitzner says while on City Council, he has worked to apply business practices to Wichita's government. He says the Eisenhower National Airport and Kellogg improvement projects are two examples of how he helped save taxpayer money.
"I like to help solve problems and take on challenges and do it in a business-type approach and a reasonable approach," Meitzner says.
Meitzner represents the council's District II and serves on the Wichita Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission.
Commissioner Dave Unruh has represented the 1st District for 16 years and announced last month that he is not seeking re-election.
Former state Rep. Steve Brunk, a Republican, is also in the race for the 1st District. Brunk served in the Kansas Legislature as a Republican from 2003 to 2016. He is also a former executive director for the Family Policy Alliance, a conservative advocacy group.
The candidate filing deadline is June 1 with the primary election to be held Aug. 7.
Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar.
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