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Politics

Wichita City Council Member Jeff Longwell To Run For Mayor

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City of Wichita
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Wichita City Council member Jeff Longwell announced Friday afternoon he’ll be running for mayor. The former vice-mayor is finishing up a second term representing District Five in south Wichita.

In the wake of a failed sales tax referendum, the city faces a predicted decline in transit service, an uncertain long-term water supply and a growing list of road improvements. Longwell says  voters were heard loud and clear, and adds the city will have to reconsider how they approach economic development. 

“I think we need a moratorium on forgivable loans, we need to look at economic development in a different way,” Longwell says. 

Longwell was present on Wednesday when city officials gave an update on their plan to address police and community relations. He says public safety will be a big part of this election.

“There's things we can do in terms of restoring the public's trust and that's just a critical service that we have to deliver.”

Longwell also emphasized Wichita’s transit system, which council members have said will see a sharp decline in service if additional funding isn’t allocated.

“We have to fix transit, we can't let transit go away,” Longwell says. “It’s critical, not only to the transit dependent, but to tourism and convention business.”

Transit has used federal grants to purchase new buses to replace an aging fleet and for recent service extension to New Market Square.

Longwell is the first official mayoral candidate. The deadline to file is 12 p.m. on Jan. 27, according the Sedgwick County Elections Office.

Primary elections will be held on March 3 and the general election will take place on April 7.

Mayor Carl Brewer has reached his term limit.