Todd Stone is seeking his second term as Oklahoma City’s Ward 4 councilman, but he will have some company on the ballot for the Feb. 9 primary election.
Stone is being challenged by two candidates: Larry Hopper, a longtime city employee with knowledge of its transportation infrastructure, and Sam Grimaldo, a former teacher who is studying for a law degree.
Ward 4 lies on the southeast side of the city and includes Tinker Air Force Base.
Three seats — in Wards 1, 3 and 4 — are up for grabs in this election cycle. In Ward 7, Councilwoman Nikki Nice is running unopposed for re-election. OKC City Council races are non-partisan. If no one candidate receives more than 50 percent of votes cast in the Feb. 9 primary, the two candidates who received the most votes will proceed to the general election, scheduled for April 6.
The following information about the candidates in the OKC Ward 4 race was gathered from publicly available sources, and candidates appear below in alphabetical order.
Profession/background: Grimaldo is a second-year law student at OU who previously worked as a teacher in Oklahoma City Public Schools. He has also worked for the Latino Community Development Agency.
Platform: If elected, Grimaldo says he would work to improve community-building, increase civic engagement, empower neighborhoods and tackle gentrification and displacement. Grimaldo would also prioritize the distribution of sales tax dollars equally throughout the city when it comes to development of projects.
Profession/background: Hopper spent more than 20 years as a city planner for OKC, according to his LinkedIn page, and was the principal planner for EMBARK. He does not appear to have a campaign website. He has lived in Ward 4 for 40 years, according to a recent interview with OKC Free Press.
Platform: Hopper’s top issues if elected would be the city’s economy, community cohesion, transportation, public health and beautification. If elected, Hopper said he would focus on expansion of job training opportunities within the ward, but he added that getting ahead of the pandemic is among the city’s biggest challenges in the year ahead.
Todd Stone (Incumbent)
Profession/background: Stone was first elected in 2017 and is running for his second term in the office. He is the owner of the homebuilding company Dub Stone Construction, which was started by his father in 1959.
Platform: Stone is a proponent for economic development in the city. He supported MAPS 4 in part because of its investment in affordable housing. Regarding the pandemic, he has sent mixed messages on mask mandates. He stated his support for wearing masks, but later voted against a mask-specific ordinance. He later voted in support of an emergency clause that would allow city officials to institute a mask mandate.