Two new faces are joining the Wichita City Council next year.
Community activist Brandon Johnson won the race for the highly contested 1st District seat with two-thirds of votes against businessman Mike Kinard. It was the only race to trigger a primary election earlier this year, with four candidates vying for the seat currently held by Lavonta Williams.
Johnson celebrated his win with family and supporters at a watch party at the Ambassador Hotel in downtown Wichita. He said he built his platform based on what he heard from the community.
“When you’re looking at the Dunbar arts district, seeing if there really was support for it, we saw that," he said. "When it came to saving McAdams pool, was there support for that? We saw it. Investing in our parks, I think everybody wants to see more investment, bringing infrastructure up to par.”
Johnson will take the seat in January, but he said he's ready to start working now.
"I talked to Councilwoman Williams. I told her next week I plan to spend some time with her, going over issues, learning more than what I know now serving on the District Advisory Board," he said. "Outside of that, I'm looking at economic development, supporting our entrepreneurs, trying to build job opportunities in areas that have historically lacked investment."
In District 6 in northwest Wichita, Park Board President Cindy Claycomb won her race against Sybil Strum with 86 percent of the votes. Claycomb will succeed Vice Mayor Janet Miller.
Excited to serve my constituents in District 6! Thanks to all who came out and supported my campaign.
— Cindy Claycomb (@Claycomb4ICT) November 8, 2017
Strum, an activist and frequent voice at City Council meetings, ended her campaign earlier this year, but missed the deadline to withdraw her name from the ballot. She received nearly 400 votes.
James Clendenin was the only incumbent on the ballot for Wichita City Council. He beat first-time candidate William Stofer with 70 percent of votes in Tuesday's general election to hold on to the District 3 seat for another term.
“It feels amazing that so many people put their trust in me. It’s a huge responsibility. It’s something that I don’t take lightly," Clendenin said. "And I look forward to taking the experience that I gained over the past six years and taking it over the next four and doing some pretty great things.”
He said he wants to continue working on roads and infrastructure in parts of southeast Wichita, and finding a way to pay for more police officers in the district to improve public safety.
Clendenin served a partial term on the council in 2011 before being elected in 2013.
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