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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

‘Double boomerang’: Bryan Frye prioritizes safety, unity in mayoral run

Nithin Reddy Nagapur
Bryan Frye speaks at a mayoral candidate forum held on July 17. The forum was hosted by The Wichita Beacon.

Bryan Frye, one of eight candidates in the upcoming mayoral race, is ready to use his political experience to prioritize safety and unity. Frye has served on 19 boards and committees in Wichita over a 30-year career.

“Between my business and nonprofit government service, I’ve got the experience and the know-how,” Frye said. “I’m the one most able to step in on day one and continue to move the city forward without having to get trained or educated.”

Frye said he plans to work to overcome partisan divides in city politics, which he believes are the main obstacle to progress. 

“There’s been a lack of civility. We’ve become stagnant and it’s been very partisan,” Frye said. “We need someone who’s going to bring people together and work on some of these issues and solve them together.”

According to Frye, there had been moments on city council where he asked for delays on agenda items because he believed the public had not been given adequate time to process the information at hand. 

“We have to do a much better job of communicating what the city is doing, and how we’re sharing what’s going on,” Frye said. “I think that open communication, publicizing agenda items and documents well in advance is absolutely the first step to creating trust.”

Like other candidates, increasing public safety is a priority for Frye. He voiced concern over increased shoplifting and distrust of police. 

“I mean, when you call 911 and you need an officer, it could be 25-30 minutes, it could be an hour, it could be a couple of days,” Frye said. “If people don’t feel safe in your community, then it’s going to be hard to grow as a community. The first step is stabilizing the police force, and we have to do that right now.” 

He points to officer burnout, low recruitment and rising retirement of experienced officers as the root to an overworked police force.

“We only have 10 in the academy right now,” Frye said. “So we have 100 vacancies, 140 that can retire and only 10 in the pipeline. That creates a public safety crisis.”

Frye describes himself as a “double boomerang” for returning to Wichita twice after living in other cities. He wants to instill his love for Wichita’s history and culture in the community, and especially among young people. 

“I think this city has demonstrated time and time again, its ability to reinvent itself,” Frye said. 

“I want them (young people) to be able to say, you know what, Wichita is where I want to be, Wichita is where I need to be.”

Kevin McWhorter, president of the Wichita library board and WSU Board of Trustees member, has known Frye since he ran for city council eight years ago.

“After eight years on the city council, he definitely has exceptional contacts with business leaders, which I think is extremely important,” McWhorter said. “He knows how to be efficient. He has a vision for the city to grow. And I like the ideas that he has.”

McWhorter also cites Frye’s extensive resume to support his candidacy.

“I think he’s the only candidate with a variety of experiences in business, whether that be nonprofits, government, entrepreneurism, and of course, if he were to be elected mayor, he would hit the ground running from day one,” McWhorter said.

Frye’s competitors include Jared Cerullo, Shelia Davis, Julie Rose Stroud, Tom Kane, Celeste Racette, Brandon Whipple and Lily Wu

The Wichita Eagle outlines how to vote in the Aug. 1 primary here

Mayoral elections are on Nov. 7. To find more information on Frye, visit his campaign website.

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About the Contributors
Salsabila Attaria
Salsabila Attaria, Arts and Culture Editor
Salsabila Attaria is the arts and culture editor for The Sunflower. Attaria is a health science major.  She previously worked as a reporter and assistant news editor. She uses she/her pronouns.
Nithin Reddy Nagapur
Nithin Reddy Nagapur, Former photographer
Nithin Reddy Nagapur was a photographer for The Sunflower. Nagapur graduated in Fall 2023.

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    Bong TranJul 23, 2023 at 5:18 pm

    Bryan Frye has 8 years of experience in Wichita city council, then he should share responsibility in police shortages, division, lack of transparency in city council. The only other mayoral candidate is incumbent mayor Whipple has 4 years and other candidates have none.