Category Archives: Carlos Mayans

Carlos Mayans: No regrets and exploring new paths

When former Mayor Carlos Mayans goes to Sam’s Club to pick up a couple racks of ribs, people still put out their hands and open their arms like they did a few months ago. The sprinkler guy comes up to his door with wet hands, eager to shake hands. Letters have filled his mailbox and his supporters, friends and family are as close as ever.

“How can you be saddened by that?” Mayans asked in a wide-ranging conversation with The Hall Monitor on Friday.

People ask if he’ll run for another public office. He tells them the rumors about a run for a state senate seat are just that — rumors. But, he said, “I’m not saying I will never run again.”

He’s been meeting with a lot of people about opportunities in business and other organizations, but he’s not interested in publicizing that, except to say he’s not getting back into the insurance business. For now, he’s trying to find something challenging that he can have fun with, he said. He’s reading Foreign Policy, the Washington D.C.-based global politics magazine, as well as books about American cities and China’s complicated rise. He’s even explored work with the human rights group Amnesty International. “My biggest challenge is trying to rest,” said Mayans, who, as mayor, was known to keep himself so busy he’d just drink a Slim-Fast shake for lunch.

Mayans said he has no regrets about the April election, where he was easily ousted by Carl Brewer. “It wasn’t one thing,” he said. “Not the money, not the media, not the organization. It just didn’t feel right the whole time. But I’ve got a lot to be thankful for.”

“How many people can say they’re in the annals of history?” said Mayans, who also spent a decade in the Kansas House of Representatives. “There’s not a lot of people that get to do that.”

Mayans doesn’t like polls, polls don’t like him

Ask Mayor Carlos Mayans about polls, and he’ll tell you he hasn’t taken any in six campaigns (five for state representative, one for mayor). A self-described populist, he says there’s only one real poll — Election Day. Mayoral candidate Carl Brewer, meanwhile, spent $14,000 on polling and phone banks.

Now a poll has been taken by KWCH Channel 12 and The Wichita Eagle. It shows Brewer up 22 percent over Mayans in the race for mayor. The automated phone survey polled 470 likely voters and was conducted by Survey USA a week before the April 3 election.

Of those asked, 58 percent plan to vote for Brewer, 36 percent plan to vote for Mayans and 6 percent said they were undecided or planned to pick someone else, presumably a write-in. There’s a 4.6 percent margin of error. In the poll, Brewer leads among all age groups as well as among men, women, black and white voters.

Mayans still supports WSU football

WSU football isn’t Carlos Mayans’ favorite topic these days, since it’s led to such outcry from other City Council members. But Mayans still stands behind Wichita State University football as a way to boost the school’s lagging enrollment.

“It’s no secret that Wichita State University has lost students, in part, because of not having football,” Mayans said, responding to a question at a voter forum Sunday. “This is not a true, full university. The football would bring a return of… more African American students,” he said. When he said that, someone in the crowd at the Tabernacle Baptist Church said “that’s stereotyping.”

“Football is economic development to the city,” Mayans said. The 1.5 mills of tax money was intended to pay off buildings and now those buildings are paid off, he said.

Mayan’s opponent, City Council member Carl Brewer, has criticized the idea from the start. He response to the question was to say a mayor has “more things to do” instead of trying to convince a university’s president to start a football program. “We have other things to be doing,” he said.

Mayans the Spartan

It’s a rare day when Hollywood action finds any reference in the bureaucracy of City Hall. But Mayor Carlos Mayans, the council’s current protagonist, found a link — at least in explaining himself.

Expressing frustration about an Eagle editorial and his opponents this week, Mayans likened the uphill electoral battle he now faces to the new movie “300.” Asked if he knows how the movie ends, Mayans said “yes.” He’s a self-described history buff. Mayans said he admires the Spartans for fighting off thousands of invading soldiers with only 300 men in an epic battle (see this USA Today story for some history perspective). As he said in Tuesday’s debate, it’s about principal. In the movie, the Spartans end up perforated with arrows and lose an impossible battle. But their courage is the story.

Mayans, who fled Cuba at age 13, said he groups the Spartans with other people he admires, including philosopher Socrates and Martin Luther King Jr.. Mayans has said his life has been about overcoming obstacles, which he has clearly done several times and made friends and enemies along the way. The question that lingers is will he clear the next bar on April 3.

Mayans: Against the grain .0085 percent of the time

Perhaps the sharpest jabs early on in this year’s city campaigns has been the assertion by councilman and mayoral candidate Carl Brewer that Mayor Carlos Mayans is divisive and that Mayans’ go-it-alone tactics hurt the city. Mayans, a polished politician with 10 years of battle experience in the Kansas House and experience defending himself during campaigns, took it upon himself to tally the Council minutes.

What he found was he voted against the majority .0085 percent of the time — or 11 out of 1,288 votes since 2003.

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