June 15, 2024

Ballots have been cast and the votes are in! Every year in November, Sedgwick County holds its general elections. Public officials have differing term lengths, resulting in each year having a different set of positions up for election. In 2023, local school board members, the mayor, and city council members were placed on the ballot. In Wichita, the primary urban center for Sedgwick, the Mayor’s position, three city council members and three school board positions were being chosen by the people.

Turnout for 2023 was low, 23.96%, which is to be expected from an odd year, as major elections happen on the even years, such as the presidential election in 2024. Last presidential election, 2020, the turnout was 70.03%. Despite the low turnout, this election still is greatly important to the people of Wichita, as the Mayor and City Council Members orchestrate a large portion of the city’s doings.

The Mayor

Although the Mayor is elected on the odd year, they are only sworn in the following year’s January. While Incumbent, meaning the current mayor before the election, Brandon Whipple was elected 2019, he was sworn in 2020, and will quit his post January of 2024.

The Mayor Elect taking over the position is Lily Wu. Both candidates are Non-Partisan, meaning they have no political affiliation. While this isn’t required, it has been the standard of Wichita. The primary reason for this is that neither candidates can receive campaign funding outright from major political parties.

Wu won by a considerable margin. Out of the 61,810 ballots cast in Wichita, 35,859 people voted for Wu, or 58.01%. Whipple received 25,557 votes, or 41.35%. Whipple lost by over 10,000 votes, a margin of 16.03%. A smaller proportion wrote in custom candidates, for a total of 394 votes, or 0.64%.

City Council

Wichita is divided into 6 Districts. Each of these Districts vote for their own City Council Member. The elections are staggered, with 2023 voting on District 2, 4 and 5. You can find which District you belong to using this online tool, although the majority of students who go to South reside in District 3, which was not up for election this year.

In District 2, Marcey Gregory, Incumbent Becky Tuttle and Hatim Zeineddine ran for City Council Member. Tuttle won with 7,551 votes (63.47%) against Gregory with 3,808 votes (32.01%) and Zeineddine with 497 votes (4.18%). There were 41 write-ins (0.34%), all for a total of 11,897 votes.

In District 4, Dalton Glasscock and Judy Pierce ran for City Council Member. The Incumbent, Jeff Blubaugh, did not run. Glasscock won with 4,793 votes (61.77%) against Pierce with 2,932 votes (37.78%). There were 35 write-ins (0.45%), for a total of 7,760 votes.

In District 5, Gary W. Bond, J.V. Johnston and Ben Pierce ran for City Council Member. The Incumbent, Bryan Frye, did not run. Johnston won with 7,591 votes (55.01%) against Bond with 3,407 votes (24.69%) and Taylor with 2,755 votes (19.96%). There were 47 write-ins (0.34%), for a total of 13,800 votes.

Wichita Public Schools Board of Education

Wichita’s Public School Board for USD259 also splits Wichita into 6 different districts. Wichita also elects a Member-at-Large, who represents the entire city. Three positions were up for election this year, that being the Member-at-Large, District 3, and District 4. School Board Members make the large decisions for the entirety of Wichita’s School System, and directly affect students. The Board also elects the Superintendent of Schools.

The At-Large election is by far the biggest, being everyone in Wichita can vote on it. A total of 42,809 votes were cast. Only two candidates ran, Brent T. Davis and Melody McCray-Miller, one of which will replace the Incumbent Sheril Logan. McCray-Miller won with 22,732 votes, or 53.10%. Davis was close behind with 19,976 votes, or 46.66% of the vote, only 6.44% behind. 101 write-ins were cast, 0.24%.

For District 3, 4,809 people voted. Two candidates ran, Ken Carpenter and Ngoc Vuong, replacing Incumbent Ernestine Krehbiel. Vuong won with 2,733 votes, or 56.83%, against Carpenter with 2,069 votes, or 43.02%. Only 7 wrote-in, for 0.15% of the vote. Notably, Ngoc Vuong is an alum of South.

Lastly, District 4. Jason Carmichael and Incumbent Stan Reeser ran. 3,911 ballot were cast. Reeser won with 2,122 votes, or 54.26%, against Carmichael with 1,767 votes, or 45.18%. 22 wrote in for 0.56% of the vote.

Conclusion

There are many more elections that happened this year. However, they are for either different counties or different cities, so the people of Wichita did not vote on them. Next year, 2024, will have much more substantial elections. Positions up next year include US House Representatives, State Senators, State House Representatives, Appellate Court positions, and, of course, the President of the United States.

While most high schoolers cannot vote, if you are 18 or older, you have the green light. Even high schoolers should have their voices heard, especially for school board positions.

Sources

All election information sources from the official results from SedgwickCounty.org

Additional information sourced from Ballotpedia, for 2024 and for 2023