If you thought politics would be taking a break for the next year until we get to the presidential election in 2024, that is not going the case if you live in Wichita.

This fall, three city council seats, and the Mayor’s office are all up for grabs. Dr. Neal Allen, the department chair for political science at Wichita State says 2023 will be “the big year for city races here in Wichita.”

A few people have already announced they are running for seats, including former Sedgwick County Republican party chair Dalton Glasscock on Monday, but Dr. Allen says to expect it to increase as we move into the spring. “A successful candidate is going to need to raise certainly 10s of 1,000, if not hundreds of 1000s of dollars. So that needs to start within the next couple of months."

Two of the three council seats, districts 4 and 5 held by Jeff Blubaugh and Bryan Frye will be open races since both are termed out of office. District 2’s representative Becky Tuttle can still run for one more term. Dr. Allen says these races will be important but might not change the political makeup of the council.

"Right now, there are conservatives, who are themselves republicans that hold all three of the council seats up in 2023. Those seats will probably still be held by republicans who are either moderate or conservative”

This leaves the Mayor’s race as a swing vote. Dr. Allen says Mayor Whipple does get a boost by being the incumbent and has pushed through several votes in his time but since his term has also faced some controversies.

He says this could make for an incredibly competitive race. “It makes sense for lots of politicians and upwardly mobile individuals to be considering running for mayor.”

To see a full list of current candidates, visit the Sedgwick County Elections office here.