Jeff Longwell, Marijuana Initiative Successful In General Election
Voters in Wichita have chosen their next mayor: Current Wichita City Council Member Jeff Longwell easily defeated retired advertising executive Sam Williams, collecting nearly 60 percent of the vote.
Money spent during the campaign didn’t translate to votes at the polls. Williams out-raised opponent Jeff Longwell by more than $70,000, but, it was Longwell who cruised to an easy victory.
Longwell will face a number of obstacles as mayor, including backlogged repairs to city infrastructure, finding a long-term solution to long-term droughts and a lagging economy that lost roughly 20,000 jobs during the recession.
In the weeks leading up to the election, Longwell stated that one of his biggest goals was improving the city’s transportation system, which currently doesn’t run late at night or on Sundays.
Included in Tuesday's ballot was a referendum that would lessen the penalty for first-time possession of small amounts of marijuana to $50. Voters approved the initiative despite state lawmakers saying it was unlawful and, essentially, meaningless. State Representative Mark Kahrs of Wichita says a suit will be filed to enforce state law, which imposes a $2,500 fine and up to one year in jail.
More area races can be seen below, for a comprehensive list, click here