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Council races, bond issues, voting for a deceased man part of Tuesday election story

Voters in over 60 counties in Oklahoma have local issues on the ballot in Tuesday elections. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman]
Voters in over 60 counties in Oklahoma have local issues on the ballot in Tuesday elections. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman]

Amanda Sandoval wants a career in public service and envisions herself someday seeking office at the state or federal level.

But right now, the 24-year-old recent college graduate is running for a city council seat in Bethany, a bedroom community of fewer than 20,000.

“I know city council is a start,” said Sandoval, who is one of seven candidates seeking three council seats in Bethany.

Tuesday is Election Day, and while the dozens of ballots across the region have received less attention than the races of last November, the results will go a long way in shaping city councils and school boards that play a critical role in infrastructure, school curriculum and a variety of other local policy issues.

These city and school board elections are also the entry into politics for many.

Four city council positions in Oklahoma City will be on the ballot, including two for open seats.

Two other council races feature an incumbent and one challenger.

The cities of Warr Acres, Del City, Edmond, Mustang, Yukon and Norman also have council races.

Several area school boards also have contested races, including Mustang, Moore and Edmond school districts.

Overall, there are elections in 64 counties across the state, according to the State Election Board.

Polls open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Absentee ballots must be received by county election boards by 7 p.m.

Voters in the Edmond Public Schools district will decide on a $93 million bond to fund building improvements and construct two elementary schools.

“The construction of numerous apartment complexes in the Southwest quadrant of our district and large housing additions east of I-35 necessitates building new schools in these areas to accommodate for the growth in our elementary student population,” said Superintendent Bret Towne.

Edmond voters will also select a new mayor or elect to give that power to the city council.

Charles Lamb was seeking a fourth term as Edmond mayor when he passed away in December. His name will still appear on the ballot and a group of citizens continue to promote his candidacy.

If Lamb eventually wins the mayoral election, the city council would be tasked with filling the seat.

Dan O’Neil and Richard Prawdzienski are also on the ballot for Edmond mayor.

Norman voters will also select a new mayor as Lynne Miller is not seeking re-election. Current council members Breea Clark and Bill Hickman, along with Evan Dunn are running for the seat.

Clark said the turnout for February elections is typically low.

But she hopes voters recognize the importance of the upcoming ballot

“I had noticed in that long line in November when we were waiting to vote there were a lot of captive people there and huge voter turnout,” said Clark, speaking at a candidate forum last week. “Yet there is low voter turnout on, what I think, are the elections that matter the most, at least in your everyday lives.

“Because the decisions we make will impact people far faster.”

Ben Felder

Ben Felder is an investigative reporter for The Oklahoman. A native of Kansas City, Ben has lived in Oklahoma City since 2010 and covered politics, education and local government for the Oklahoma Gazette before joining The Oklahoman in 2016.... Read more ›