(Update: A video and a recap of the OKC Ward 5 debate are now available.)
With Oklahoma City’s primary election on the horizon, all four candidates seeking the open Ward 5 seat on the OKC City Council have agreed to participate in a debate hosted by NonDoc at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2, on the campus of Oklahoma City Community College.
Audra Beasley, Matt Hinkle, Thuan Nguyen and Jeff Owen are all seeking the Ward 5 seat, which is being vacated by three-term Councilman David Greenwell. Each has agreed to participate in the debate, which is open to the public at the Visual and Performing Arts Center at OCCC, 7777 S. May Ave.
NonDoc will stream the debate on Facebook and YouTube, with Tres Savage serving as moderator. All questions will be written and asked by professional journalists, with The Oklahoman serving as a partner to provide fact-checking efforts as necessary in the days following the debate. Although another media outlet initially agreed to be the streaming partner for this debate, details of that potential partnership remain in negotiation. This post will be updated if additional media partners are added.
The Oklahoma chapter of the Urban Land Institute is the presenting sponsor for NonDoc’s 2023 municipal election debate series. ULI is a membership-based organization focused on shaping the future of the built environment for transformative impact in communities worldwide.
Voters in Oklahoma City wards 2, 5, 6 and 8 will head to the polls Tuesday, Feb. 14, for the city’s primary election. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent support, a general election between the top two finishers will be held April 4.
Those interested can RSVP to and share a Facebook event page for the OKC Ward 5 debate. (NonDoc is also hosting a Ward 6 OKC City Council debate at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8.)
More about Ward 5 and its candidates
A heavily residential area, OKC Ward 5 is on the city’s south side. Stretching from just north of Interstate-240, Ward 5 borders Moore to the east and Newcastle on its southwest. It includes Westmoore High School and Earlywine Park.
Audra Beasley, 43, is a corporate and estate planning paralegal who opened her own business in 2007 and who volunteers for several Oklahoma City nonprofits.
Matt Hinkle, 60, works for Tyler Media and has served on the Oklahoma City Planning Commission since 2017. He currently serves as Ward 5’s planning commissioner.
Thuan Nguyen, 46, came to the United States at age 4 from Vietnam in 1980 with his mother to escape communism, according to his website. Today, he owns his own insurance agency based in OKC.
Jeff Owen, 56, is a U.S. Army veteran and a nurse practitioner with more than 25 years of experience working in health care.