WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Three weeks out from Wichita's mayoral election, a third, write-in candidate jumps into the race.
Eyewitness News confirmed Thursday Lyndy Wells is launching a campaign to face Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell and challenger Brandon Whipple. That official launch follows public support from former Wichita mayors Carl Brewer and Bob Knight for Wells to enter the race.
Wells, narrowly lost in the August primary race by about 200 votes. He finished a close third, just missing out on getting his name on the ballot.
In addition to the support from Brewer and Knight, Wells this week says he's received feedback from undecided voters and ultimately decided Wichita needs a third choice in this election.
"I know I was not successful in the primary and voters eliminated me," he says. "A lot has changed since the primary."
Historically, a third candidate entering a race will split the vote and can help the incumbent. For now, there is a clear divide with both parties, Friends University Political Science Professor Dr. Russell Arben Fox says.
This plays a factor, he says, even though the Wichita mayoral race is non-partisan.
"You can't ignore the party element. This is happening because Republicans don't like their ow mayor, and Democrats don't like their own candidate," Fox says. "There is a divide in both parties."
Whipple who narrowly defeated Wells in the primary released a statement Thursday addressing Wells' campaign. That statement says in part, "I'm focused on my campaign and vision for the future of Wichita. The voters already have a clear choice in November."