Mayoral candidates participate in first debate

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

A heated debate happened at Roxy’s Tuesday night between the two candidates for mayor. Incumbent Jeff Longwell debated against candidate Brandon Whipple in the first debate of the general election campaign.

The debate was hosted by KMUW and sponsored by The Wichita Eagle. And if the crowd size was any indication, there is a lot of interest in this election.

“Four years ago we needed to focus on jobs and we did,” said Mayor Jeff Longwell. “Today, we have more jobs than people.”

But his opponent argues that growth is slow in the city of Wichita.

“Back in the old days,  Wichita was growing at twice the rate of the national average. Now it’s the opposite,” Brandon Whipple said.

The two also took on issues of public safety, firefighter resources, and transparency in government.

While both sides had audience members in support, several were still undecided and hope debates like these will help bring clarity.

“We were talking about transportation in Wichita, and what needs to be improved,” Joan Barrier said.

“Transparency is a big issue in Wichita and they talked about it quite a bit,” said Paul Babich. “What goes on beyond the floor and how it’s related to us.”

KAKE News will host a mayoral debate in October.