Democratic challenger unseats incumbent Wichita mayor

November 6, 2019 GMT

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Democratic state Rep. Brandon Whipple has defeated the incumbent mayor in Wichita after a contentious race marked by partisan meddling.

Mayor Jeff Longwell lost his bid in Tuesday’s election to keep the office he has held since 2015.

Unofficial results show Whipple received 46 percent of the vote to 36 percent for Longwell. Less than 18 percent wrote in a candidate for mayor.

The race was inflamed by an online ad that falsely suggested Whipple had been accused of sexual harassment at the Statehouse. Republican leaders linked a GOP lawmaker to the ad and called for his resignation. Wichita mayoral candidates do not run representing political parties.

Whipple emphasized his budgeting experience in the state Legislature and criticized Whipple’s 2017 vote in favor of rolling back former Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax cuts.

Whipple was elected to the House in 2012 and is a lecturer at Wichita State University.