Kelly, 36, was first elected to his Ward 3 council seat in 2006 and was reelected last year.
He will face three term incumbent Ron Shaffer. Shaffer has never before faced a challenger for mayor.
“I want to make clear that I respect and appreciate Mayor Shaffer’s service,” Kelly said. “The question I’ve been asking myself as I’ve been deciding whether to run is what’s the difference between a good city and a great city? And how will what we do in the next four years impact the following 30?”
Kelly said he’s running on a five point platform focusing on: fiscal responsibility; developing comprehensive plans for the city’s key areas; fostering strong homes associations; cultivating the arts; and advocating for the city’s schools.
He said the closing of Mission Valley should “serve as a wake up call,” and that he thought the city could be a more vocal advocate for schools by working with lawmakers in Topeka, and by communicating better with local parents about school issues.
Kelly graduated from Rockhurst University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He works for Digix Inc. He is not married.