Longwell, Whipple trade jabs in second mayoral debate

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

The second debate between Jeff Longwell and Brandon Whipple in the race for Wichita mayor got heated at a few points. Many of the questions focused on crime, which was fitting, since the Wichita Crime Commission hosted the debate.

The takeaway from the hour-long debate: Mayor Longwell says the city has issues it's working on, and Wichita has momentum. Whipple says that's not enough, and changes need to be made.

"We're doing things obviously differently today than we were four years ago," said Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell. "And we're starting to see them impacting our community in terms of our ability to lower crime rates."

"I think Wichita is making progress," said candidate Brandon Whipple, "But, the reality is, if you compare us to our sister cities, we've got a long way to go."

Questions from the audience at Scotch & Sirloin Thursday ranged from keeping young people in Wichita, to crime rates and response times, to taxes and medical marijuana.

The candidates traded a few jabs throughout the debate.

"Brandon, if you're going to speak for me, you'll have to listen a little better," Mayor Longwell said in response to a statement about the city budget.

"We were getting along so well, too, that was a little rough," Whipple said in his response. "My experience in legislature has taught the difference between political talking points and policy that gets stuff done."

The candidates agreed on a few points, including immigration enforcement issues.

KAKE News is hosting the next debate October 22. The General Election, when Wichita will choose its mayor, will be held November 5, 2019.

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