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Person of the Year winner
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The time has come to announce a winner, but first of all we want to extend a word of thanks to each of our NonDoc Person of the Year candidates, as well as every single person who voted. This friendly competition began as a cheeky idea to recognize and honor our largest Writers’ Fund contributors in 2017.

What we did not anticipate was how much fun everyone would have with this little competition, which originated on Giving Tuesday and ironically encouraged readers to support a politics-heavy journalism publication through “buying votes.”

The friendly banter on Twitter has been quite amusing. And the generosity of these candidates, their friends and their families has astounded us. In fact, because of their willingness to indulge in this silliness for a good cause, we have raised $2,380 in new Writers’ Fund contributions. That means we can assign more freelance stories like our recent piece about Seminole’s own Jasmine Moran and another recent story about the burgeoning CBD oil market. In fact, three new freelance stories have been assigned in the past 48 hours.

It will also help us to meet a recent unexpected cost of operating a small business, and it will allow us to head into 2018 pursuing a couple of growth goals earlier than anticipated.

Our distinguished winner

Like any good election, this was a hard fought battle. Unlike how Donald Trump alleges that Time Magazine requires their Person of the Year to conduct an interview and a “major” photo shoot, we only asked our Person of the Year to provide a statement and a preferred photo. That was particularly relevant for our winner because she was not thrilled by the picture we used of her to announce the contest.

So without further ado, the one and only Kandyce Mitchell is NonDoc’s 2017 Person of the Year!

Kandyce Mitchell winner
Kandyce Mitchell, NonDoc’s 2017 Person of the Year.

She won with 1,492 votes, out-raising the competition and finding creative ways to spur contributions. Thursday, she announced that she would match all “bought votes” with personal donations to Positive Tomorrows, a nonprofit OKC school dedicated to educating homeless children.

“This is an enormous honor,” Mitchell said. “Thank you, NonDoc, for the excellence in journalism and the opportunity to buy an election. I’m pleased to accept this honor and to have the opportunity to replace the worst picture ever posted on social media. I look forward to riding in parades and utilizing my pageant wave.”

Mitchell, a native of Woodward who lives in OKC, is a committed advocate for responsible public policy. She serves on the board of Let’s Fix This and prevents the world from having to endure her husband Scott’s zanier ideas.

Placing second in this year’s competition was Karen Hulebak, and placing third was Terry West. All candidates — Angie LaPaglia, Cindy Rosenthal, Cordon DeKock, Daniel Miley, David Walters, Jason Shepherd, Jeff Mims, Jimmy Durant, Kandyce Mitchell, Karen Hulebak, Mike Cantrell, Michael Duncan, Peter Fulmer and Terry West — received double-digit vote totals, and money was raised to support journalism across the board.

Winner of the popular vote

If you take money out of these politics, Karen Hulebak won the inaugural Hillary Clinton Popular Vote Champion award with 87 individual votes. Jimmy Durant placed second with 75 votes, and Kandyce Mitchell received the third most with 72.

We truly appreciate all candidates.

Who will be next year’s candidates?

Wait, do we plan to do this again next year? You betcha! The selection of this year’s candidates was based on the extent of their financial support of our work this year, but next year we will choose from a broader selection of our numerous and diverse Writers’ Fund contributors.

So, if you’d like to be in the running for our 2018 Person of the Year, you should consider becoming a monthly Writers’ Fund contributor today.

Congratulations, Kandyce!