Longwell pitches Tiahrt a soft endorsement



City council member Jeff Longwell was quick to divert any praise for the new Cowskin Creek flood reduction project to Bob Martz, the former council member who died while in office in 2007. But he gave Congressman Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, a little love too.

As he introduced Tiahrt, who is running for US Senate in a hot, multi-candidate race, Longwell called Tiahrt his favorite congressman. Then came the pitch.

“I hope I can call him my favorite senator someday,” Longwell said.

It was a soft endorsement, but one viewed by a who’s who of west Wichita politics, several reporters (though it’s doubtful it will make any newscasts) and the ever-watching eye of the City7 camera (presumably to be replayed as one of the looping segments on the city’s cable channel).

Dedications, ribbon-cuttings and press conferences are often used to give politicians relatively positive exposure. So it was no surprise to see Tiahrt, Longwell, Mayor Carl Brewer, Republican State Sen. Les Donovan and Republican Sedgwick County Commissioner Karl Peterjohn under the tent at the dedication. Each played at least a minor role in the project. Each praised the engineers standing in the small crowd before them. And all but Donovan took a turn at the podium.