Candidate Accused Of Ethics Violation In Wichita Council Race

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Monday, February 18, 2013

An ethics complaint has been filed by one candidate against another in the Wichita City Council District 4 race.

A flyer paid for by Craig Gabel is at the center of the complaint. One side endorses Gabel, while the other side is a coupon for either $3 off of a chicken fry dinner or half off a meal at Gable's restaurant.

"This is our way to be able to afford it," said Gabel. "To build up the business for the restaurant and stuff, and also to be able to help campaigns."

Gabel said he printed a similar flyer two years ago with a buy one, get one free coupon.

"This is half as good a deal as what we offered two years ago and it was okay two years ago. Like I said, this has nothing to do with ethics or anything like that," said Gabel.

Those running in the same race believe the flyer is unfair and unethical.

"Even if it's a paid advertisement, it's making it look like he's trying to buy votes," said Josh Blick, candidate.

And some voters think Gabel is trying to buy their vote.

"I don't believe in trying to buy votes. I don't believe in trying to use your business to get votes. I think he needs to be disqualified," said Kristin Bosley, who received Gabel's flyer.

Blick has since filed a complaint with the Kansas Ethics Commission. They have advised him to contact the Sedgwick County District Attorney to file this local complaint. Blick expects to discuss this with the district attorney on Tuesday.

Gabel and Blick, along with Jeff Blubaugh and David Glover, are the four people vying to fill the Wichita City Council District 4 seat. The seat was left behind by Michael O'Donnell, who is now serving on the Kansas Senate.

The primary election is Feb. 26 and the general election is on April 2.

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