Third times a charm for Mork?

Marty Mork is hoping to win the mayor's race on a pro-marijuana platform

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Third times a charm for Mork?

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Martin Mork, a conservative Republican and self-described “freedom fighter,” hopes his past campaign experience will help him break out from the crowded field of candidates for mayor of Wichita. 

The Wichita Eagle reports Mork has unsuccessfully run twice for mayor, twice for the Kansas Legislature and once for the Wichita City Council. 

Mork was motivated to run for mayor after taking issue with a 2018 decision by the Kansas Supreme Court that said the smell of marijuana can justify a warrantless search.  

The court’s decision is unconstitutional, Mork said, and police should always be required to have a warrant to search. 

Mork has taken other pro-marijuana stances since announcing his run for mayor. 

He  supports the decriminalization of marijuana in Wichita, which residents approved through a citywide vote in 2015. The Kansas Supreme Court ruled a year later that the initiative was invalid. 

Mork blames current Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell for not fighting to implement the initiative and represent the “will of the people.” 

The Eagle further reports Mork has been convicted twice, in 1992 and 2001, of charges related to marijuana or paraphernalia possession.

Hemp, an industrial derivative of marijuana, plays a part in Mork’s plan to boost Wichita’s economy. 

Mork believes inviting the hemp industry into Wichita would provide jobs to help recruit and retain young people. His plan also includes cuts to personal property and small business taxes. 

Mork says “taxpayers should have a voice” in large city projects, such as the new baseball stadium development, libraries and Century II. 

Ideally, Mork said, Wichita could host citywide elections on large-scale proposals to gauge public opinion and decide whether or not to pursue the projects. 

Mork criticized Longwell for the way he has handled the development of the baseball stadium. 

“[Longwell] promised taxpayers are not going to be paying for the new baseball stadium,” Mork said. He said that ended up not being the case. 

Mork said he would not have personally pursued the new stadium, due to fiscal concerns, unless public opinion demonstrated strong support for it. 

Mork also describes himself as pro-life and pro-Second Amendment. 

Mork currently does not work due to disability, but most recently worked for five years at Boeing Commercial Aircraft and for 13 years at the Kansas State Grain Association.