Brandon Whipple, 37, isn’t always new to politics. The legislator has represented District ninety-six inside the Kansas House of Representatives on account of 2012. But his 2019 campaign for mayor of Wichita marks his first try on the govt department. A Wichita State graduate, his interest in legislating began as a pupil senator. Whipple, a New Hampshire local, first traveled to Wichita while he was 21 for a 12 months-long venture with AmeriCorps, wherein he worked with at-danger youngsters at Wichita High School South. “I fell in love with Wichita and found I could afford to wait for college at Wichita State University,” he said. “As a primary-era university student, I saw the awesome ability Wichita provided me.”
Whipple graduated from WSU together with his bachelor’s degree in sociology and a minor in psychology. He later earned his master’s diploma in liberal studies from WSU, with an emphasis on geo-cultural studies and public administration. Finally, Whipple’s doctorate in management studies comes from Franklin Pierce University, a private college in his domestic state. During his time at Wichita State, Whipple served as a student senator in the Student Government Association. He said he could now not be in the legislature without that enjoy.
“When I was given involved, I became invited to attend Higher Ed Day at the capitol and lobby for scholar-targeted policy, and that enjoy modified everything for me,” he stated. “It showed that ordinary, everyday human beings like myself and my fellow college students [could] make a difference.” Whipple’s first run for the state residence in 2010 was unsuccessful. However, he changed into an elected vice-chair of the Sedgwick County Democratic Party shortly afterward. He became elected chair of the county celebration in 2012, the same yr he defeated Republican Rick Lindsey for the District 96 seat.
Since his first win in 2012, Whipple has been re-elected to the seat in 2014, 2016 and 2018. Whipple stated he was not originally planning to record for mayor but decided to after urges from different community leaders. He says he’s going to carry enjoyment and strength to the office. “I’ve seen how robust nearby management can paintings with enterprise and nation entities to improve the pleasant of lifestyles in our local groups,” he said. Whipple said he expects his repute as a Democrat to assist him within the race for mayor. “Candidates like Laura Kelly and James Thompson have won the City of Wichita by increasing the range of people, mainly young human beings and people of coloration, that voted in those elections,” he said.
He stated that with municipal election turnout so low, it’s essential to inspire all and sundry — especially young people — to voice their opinions in the vote casting booth. Whipple’s wife Chelsea is likewise a WSU graduate and works because of the application director for St. James Episcopal Church. They have three boys collectively: AJ, 5, Tristan, four, and Julian, 2. Whipple is also an accessory professor at WSU, teaching political, technological know-how guides while needed. If elected mayor, one of Whipple’s pinnacle priorities will be the schooling gadget in Wichita.
“Wichita’s biggest export isn’t always wheat or airplanes; it’s knowledgeable young humans,” he stated. “As a father, I need to make certain my boys have the identical possibilities to gain their dreams as I did.” As Kansas universities lean toward public-personal partnerships to make up for a loss of country investment, Whipple says it’s vital to strike a balance. “Academic integrity have to never be up for sale, and protections want to be installed region so the non-public area or a handful of rich traders can’t silence studies, really due to the fact they disagree with it,” he said.
Whipple proposed the kingdom legislature have to repair cuts to higher schooling, with a knowledge that universities will not grow training. He stated this changed into his top precedence as a ranking member of the Higher Education Budget Committee within the country residence. Whipple criticized modern town leaders as “linked insiders who do now not spend sufficient time taking note of the folks who elected them.” “Big decisions are being made in the back of closed doorways without public enter,” he stated.