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Elections Tuesday for city and school seats

Voters prepare to cast their ballots Feb. 11 at Crown Heights Christian Church.  [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]
Voters prepare to cast their ballots Feb. 11 at Crown Heights Christian Church. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]

Voters on Tuesday will choose new mayors in the suburban cities of Edmond, Piedmont and Choctaw, while voters in south Oklahoma City will decide a school board race.

Elections are being held in many parts of the region and across the state, and while most are for school boards and smaller municipal seats, the results will shape a variety of issues ranging from what is included in school bond proposals to how fast-growing suburbs handle development.

“I think it’s time for a change,” Don O’Neil, a candidate for Edmond mayor, said in a television interview last week.

O’Neil is running against former Mayor Charles Lamb who was seeking reelection when he died in December.

Although deceased, Lamb remains of the ballot, and if he wins on Tuesday the city council will select the new mayor.

Piedmont residents will choose a new mayor from a field of three candidates: Kurt Mayabb, John Bickerstaff and Bobby Williamson.

In many small town mayoral races, infrastructure takes center stage.

“If you don't have water and sewer, you can have all the gold-plated roads in the world and it will do you no good,” Bickerstaff said at a mayoral debate last week.

A city council and school board race will be before some Norman voters, while two council seats are up for grabs in Guthrie.

The Oklahoma City Public Schools board has one seat on the ballot as incumbent Gloria Torres faces challenger Josh Means.

Torres, a 49-year-old former educator, and Means, a 20-year-old college student, are running for the southside District 6 seat once held by Means' father, Jay Means. Torres was appointed to succeed Jay Means in 2014, ran unopposed in 2015 and currently serves as the panel's vice chairwoman.

Josh Means, according to a December news release, "is a 20-year-old African-American, conservative Republican." In the release, Means states he "brings a multicultural approach that can bring people together and will no doubt serve him well on the OKCPS board."

The board seat represents 13 schools on the city's predominantly Hispanic southwest side.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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 ›