A. Price Woodard ,a local attorney, was a relatively new member of the Wichita City Commission in 1970. Each year during an April organizational meeting, the commissioners selected one member to serve a one-year term as the city’s mayor.
At the time, Wichita was experiencing racial problems that had escalated to rioting in the streets and burnings.
While the custom was for a more experienced commission member to be chosen mayor, the commissioners thought appointing Woodard mayor might help calm the city’s racial storm. So, on April 14, 1970, A. Price Woodard was sworn in as Wichita’s first African-American Mayor. It was the only term he served.
In 2007, Carl Brewer was elected by the citizens of Wichita and became the city’s second African-American mayor. Brewer served two, four-year terms and was prevented from seeking an additional term due to term limits.
In the Reflector, our Feb. 9 Black History Supplement, we featured a story on Robert Caldwell, who was first selected mayor of Salina by his fellow commissioners in 1970, Caldwell went on to serve three,one-year terms as Salina Mayor.