A hotly contested race for the OKC City Council Ward 1 seat will head to an Apr. 6 runoff after none of the nine declared candidates was able to surpass the 50 percent threshold required to win the seat outright.
And Ward 1 won’t be the only seat to be decided in a runoff. The city’s Ward 3 seat also drew plenty of challengers, with six candidates on the ballot. None surpassed 50 percent of the vote. All runoffs will take place on April 6.
In other races, incumbent Todd Stone easily won re-election to another term as OKC Ward 4’s councilman, fending off a pair of challengers.
Winners in all races will take office Apr. 13, ahead of the beginning of the city’s 2022 budget process. That budget will be considered by the council later this year. The current 2021 fiscal year ends June 30. Oklahoma City’s most recent budget was $1.6 billion.
Carter, Varnell advance to Ward 1 runoff
OKC City Council Ward 1 incumbent James Greiner’s decision not to run for another term created plenty of interest from prospective candidates.
Small-business owner Bradley Carter got the most votes Tuesday, capturing 26.5 percent with 35 of 36 precincts reporting. Shay Varnell picked up 18.6 percent of the vote.
Carter ran on a promise of improving the city’s infrastructure and enabling small business growth through streamlined regulations.
Varnell, who co-owns a local insurance agency, made funding the city’s police and fire departments one of his top campaign priorities. He also hopes to improve and re-design some of the city’s roads.
Nana Dankwa and Jay Sherrill finished with 16.5 and 14.1 percent of the vote, respectively.
Susan Kay Parisi, Joshua Debolt, Richard Buchanan and Bill Fleming all finished in single digits.
Ward 1 covers much of western Oklahoma City, including the area from Lake Overholser to the south and stretching up to Piedmont.
Martinez-Brooks, Young move to Ward 3 runoff
Councilman Larry McAtee’s decision not to run for re-election created an open field for the Ward 3 seat. McAtee had held the seat since 2001.
Jessica Martinez-Brooks got 29.3 percent in Tuesday’s primary, with 100 percent of precincts reporting. She will face Barbara Young, who picked up 23 percent.
Martinez-Brooks, who is a 20-year educator, ran a platform of improving public safety and working on transparency between city government and citizens.
Young, who works as a merchandising manager for Love’s Travel Stops, ran as a conservative voice for the council. She also would oppose new taxes if elected.
Kelli Payne and Allen Swanda finished with 16.5 and 9.5 percent, respectively. Trey Bishop got 2 percent.
Ward 3 covers western Oklahoma City and encompasses Will Rogers World Airport toward eastern boundary. The ward extends west to Gregory Road.
Stone easily wins re-election
Ward 4 Councilman Todd Stone cruised to re-election Tuesday. Stone, who first won election in 2017, picked up 64.2 percent of the vote with all precincts reporting to win his second term on the council.
His opponents, Sam Grimaldo and Larry Hopper, finished with 25.7 percent and 10 percent.
Ward 4 lies on the southeast side of the city and includes Tinker Air Force Base.
Stone earned an endorsement from the Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police in January. He operates Dub Stone Construction. The 57-year-old ran as a life-long southside OKC resident and promised it will get its fair share of city projects.
Cheat sheet: McAtee retirement opens door for wide open OKC Ward 3 race
Cheat Sheet: OKC Ward 4 incumbent Todd Stone faces two challengers