Melody McCray-Miller, the only candidate endorsed by The Community Voice, advances to the general election with an impressive vote count. McCray-Miller, who was competing in a field of five candidates for the At-Large Seat on the Wichita School Board, advanced with more than 50% of the votes.
McCray-Miller received more than twice as many votes as her nearest competitor, Brent Davis, who received 24% of the vote.
The result sets up a battle between McCray-Miller, a moderate, and Davis, an “anti-woke” Republican-backed candidate. Davis was the only one of four candidates promoted by the Sedgwick County Republican Party during the 2021 election. If all four had one, that group would have taken control of the board’s outlook.
Control over the board’s outlook is at stake again in this election. The open seat the two are competing for is currently held by Sheril Logan, who’s definitely a moderate member of the board. With a current four (moderate) to three (conservative) leaning, this race is definitely for the “heart and soul” of the board.
Mayor Whipple Advances Despite Major Outside Money
Political newcomer Lillie Wu solidified her lead in Wichita’s mayoral race with a strong first-place finish in a field of nine candidates. Wu earned 30% of the vote in what was a considerably large voter turnout for a Wichita mayor’s race.
Current Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple came in second, earning 24% of the votes, but just ahead of City Councilman Bryan Frye. With just 400 votes separating the two, Whipple may struggle to hang on to second place, but, so far, the numbers are leaning his way.
Wu, a long-time local news reporter, positioned herself as a fresh face for city hall and Whipple struggled with a few “missteps” that drew public ire.
However, the real difference in the race had to be the money. Wu’s campaign was packed with cash from donors Whipple says want to take over city hall.
“Wichita has a choice right now,” Whipple said. “Do we let city hall get taken over by the people who took over Lily Wu’s campaign in less than a month, or do we want it to be run by the people?”
In addition to local contributions, Wu’s campaign was helped financially by 66,000 in outside spending by Americans For Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group backed by Charles Koch.
Wu says her success is based on a desire for change at city hall.
“As an outsider and first-time candidate, I wouldn’t be receiving such widespread support if it weren’t for people who are dissatisfied,” she said.
One thing Wichitans can expect in the next few months leading up to the November general election is lots of spending to promote candidates. Wu can count on more big-dollar investments from conservative causes, but it’s yet to be seen how much outside liberal support Whipple will be able to muster