Mayoral contenders to debate, answer questions

The heated contest for the future of Wichita is coming to Wichita State Friday.

Mayoral candidates Sam Williams and Jeff Longwell have been invited to engage the WSU community in a public debate and Q&A session. Hosted by political science professor Ken Ciboski and the Political Science Club, the debate will take place from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., Friday, at Lindquist Hall in the 2nd floor dean’s office boardroom.

The Political Science Club holds a weekly forum, “Times Topics,” to discuss and promote politics. This and other “Times Topics” events are open to the public.

 The City of Wichita will hold elections for mayor and city council on April 7. A primary took place on March 3, which left Williams and Longwell as the leading contenders for the mayor’s office. Additionally, three of the city’s six council seats are up for election.

“It is a quirk of our political system in America that local elections have the lowest turnout of any of our elections,” Ciboski said. “Yet, it is at the local level where city council representatives, mayors, school board members and county-wide officeholders make decisions that affect the lives of all of us.

“Ironically, people may know less about local government than they do about government at the national and state levels,” he said.

Ciboski said having a debate between the candidates on campus is important to help students understand they will be directly impacted by whatever decision voters reach in next week’s election.