As the OKC metro staggers into the post-election haze of various political hangovers, another civic bender looms right around the corner: OKC City Council elections.
Qualifications are easy: If you’re old enough to drink and have lived in your prospective ward as a registered voter for at least six months, then you can run for that ward’s council seat. Prospective candidates in Wards 1, 3, 4 and 7 must file between Dec. 5 and Dec. 7 for the Oklahoma City Council election in 2017.
The primary will be held Feb. 14, and it only takes a simple ward majority to be declared the winner. If no candidate receives a majority of votes in the primary, the two candidates with the highest number of votes will stand in a decisive general election April 4. Wards with only one qualified candidate will automatically be awarded to that candidate.
Winning candidates can expect to make $12,000 annually as a councilperson for the next four years.
From Lake Hefner west to Richland and including an area surrounding Lake Overholser, Ward 1 currently plays home to councilman James Greiner. Greiner, a family man and graphic designer for Hobby Lobby, began his first term in 2013.
Ward 3 extends north from the intersection of U.S. Highway 62 and the Canadian River to Bethany. It also includes Will Rogers Airport but excludes Mustang while surrounding it. Councilman Larry McAtee currently holds that seat and has since 2001.
Ward 4 straddles Interstate 40 from South Pottawatomie Road all the way to Western Avenue. It includes Tinker Air Force Base, Midwest City and Del City but excludes Valley Brook. U.S. Army veteran and lawyer Pete White has served off-and-on stints with the City Council since 1982.
Creating a rough triangle across OKC’s northeast side, Ward 7 is bounded by the intersection of Interstate 35 and Southeast 44th Street to the south. First-time councilman John Pettis was elected in 2013 and boasts a varied career as a community volunteer and advocate.
The official press release, including instructions on how to file at the Oklahoma County Election Board, can be found here.