- Current Kansas House of Representatives, District 96
- Adjunct professor at WSU
- Bachelor’s degree in Sociology, minor in Psychology
- MA in Liberal Studies focusing on Cross-Cultural Studies and Public Administration from Wichita State University
- Doctor of Arts in Leadership Studies with a concentration in policy and law from Franklin Pierce University
- Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Educational Leadership from Plymouth State University
Personal Information: My wife, Chelsea, grew up in Wichita and graduated from Bishop Carroll and WSU. We have three boys, 5, 4 and 2.
What specific Wichita issues do you think deserves your immediate attention and how do you plan to address it?
Wichita’s biggest export is not wheat or airplanes, it’s educated young people. As a father, I want to ensure that my boys have the same opportunities to achieve their dreams in Wichita as I did. That starts by rebuilding trust in City Hall. Currently, City Hall is run by connected insiders who do not spend enough time listening to the people who elected them. Big decisions are being made behind closed doors without public input. If we want to compete with our sister cities like Tulsa and Oklahoma City, we need innovative leadership willing to talk to the people and put their ideas into action.
How do you propose to grow the Wichita economy?
As Mayor, I would take an active role to ensure that the City is collaborating with the county, state and Federal government to maximize the potential resources we secure. I consider providing a leading transportation, digital, and civic infrastructure to be a top priority for our City leadership, led by the Mayor. In terms of economic development, I would hope my leadership in office would be marked by a focus on governmental efficiency and an opportunity and partnership-minded outlook. This includes making sure that government stays out of the way of growth in areas where it would likely be more successful in the private sector. A responsible Mayor knows when to step in, making sure that there is transparency and equity in City partnerships.
What is your vision for downtown, the baseball stadium & Delano?
Downtown is everybody’s neighborhood. Downtown is the beating heart of Wichita’s business, arts, and civic communities, and I strongly believe in continuing the course of strong investment and redevelopment of our urban core. I think the baseball stadium is a part of that, and I think everyone is excited about the potential it can bring. Less inspiring, however, is the rushed and secretive way our city leadership decided to push this project forward. Without reservation: everyone I’ve talked to is excited about the stadium, but is frustrated by how the stadium project came together. It hurt our city’s credibility with its citizens, and I think that’s going to continue hurting our image for a long time, unless we make a change. That’s why I’ve made ending no-bid contracts such a priority when I’m elected mayor. I think Delano is in a great position to capitalize on much of the investment being pumped into downtown and the stadium, and I think it’s setting an example of how vibrant, inclusive neighborhoods can work together to make the city better as a whole, not just a sum of parts. Wichita’s greatness is not derived from its beautiful buildings, it’s derived from its great people and businesses that choose to invest here.