OKC council races

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

That would seem to be the message coming from Oklahoma City’s Ward 3. Since 2001, residents in the southwest OKC area have been content to let Larry McAtee represent them at 200 N. Walker Ave. in the heart of downtown.

Meanwhile, in Ward 4, the pending retirement of long-time councilmember Pete White, announced in November 2016, leaves the seat up for grabs. A four-way race pits a career politician, two scientists and a business owner against each other to lay claim to the area east of Interstate 35 along the I-240/I-40 corridor that includes Tinker Air Force Base.

The election for OKC council will be held Tuesday, Feb. 14. (If you’re unsure about which Ward is yours, take a look at the map here.) Also, for previous coverage of Wards 1 and 7, click here.

1Ward 3: Larry McAtee, incumbent

  • Profession: Councilmember; former president of Ironsharpeners, a management-consulting company
  • Political experience: Councilmember since 2001
  • Platform: Roads, public safety and economic development, but really who needs a platform when you’ve won your Ward since 2001?
  • Link: Official councilmember page

2Ward 3: Joe “Sarge” Nelson

  • Profession: Retired since 1998, former general contractor
  • Political experience: Previous mayoral run, community organizer and volunteer
  • Platform: Cleaning up “corruption,” being anti-politician
  • Link: Listing on

3Ward 3: Matthew W. Olsen

  • Profession: Big Truck Tacos, director
  • Political experience: Self-described as “not a politician
  • Platform: Self-described “progressive candidate;” infrastructure, education, revitalization
  • Link: Official Facebook page

4Ward 4: Doris Mangiaracina Benbrook

  • Profession: OU Health Sciences Center, professor and scientist
  • Political experience: Resident of southwest OKC for more than 25 years
  • Platform: Tax revenue, education, equality, health and public safety
  • Links: Official campaign site, official Facebook page, official Twitter account

5Ward 4: Walter J. Kula

  • Profession: aerospace science instructor in the Air Force Junior ROTC program at Choctaw High School
  • Political experience: former chairman of Oklahoma City’s Traffic and Transportation Commission
  • Platform: listening to constituents and addressing their issues
  • Link: Official Facebook page

6Ward 4: Richard Morrissette

  • Profession: Attorney
  • Political experience: Democratic state Representative for 12 years from District 92
  • Platform: Economic growth, public safety, infrastructure, government efficiency
  • Links: Official campaign site, official Facebook page
  • 7Ward 4: Todd Stone

    • Profession: Dub Stone Construction, president and CEO
    • Political experience: South OKC Chamber of Commerce,  board member
    • Platform: Public safety, government efficiency, long-term planning
    • Links: Official campaign site, official Facebook page