The April 6th municipal elections produced a number of changes in several towns across Oklahoma. Several incumbents were sent packing when the polls closed.
In Luther, Mayor Jenni White was in Oklahoma City when the polls came in. She told a crowd that the turnout was pathetic, but she did not concede at 7:30pm while she was campaigning to be the next chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party. the Luther Register noted that only 80 voters bothered to cast ballots yesterday, contrasting with over 600 votes cast 4 years ago, when White was the top choice in the 2017 election returns.
In a field of 4 candidates seeking the 3 seats in town council govt., White got only 37 total votes. Among her more controversial actions as mayor was an ordinance which effectively banned medical marijuana sales in her town. After legal costs and court proceedings started going poorly, her council reversed course and approved one dispensary out on the highway on the north edge of town.
Hobbs came under fire for attending a Washington Trump rally on the capitol mall on January 6th. He's currently suing the NY Times for attributing another person's quote to him, regarding the congressional certification actions. Back home, his opponents jumped on that NY Times coverage in an effort to marginalize Hobbs. Meanwhile, Hobbs has refused to raise taxes and give pay raises to the fire dept. The firefighters then began campaigning against him. Two years ago, Hobbs received 76% of the vote. This time he got 43%. Only 319 votes were cast.
In Broken Arrow, a 20-year city elected official was upset by the wife of State Rep. Ross Ford. Broken Arrow is the 4th largest city in Oklahoma. Lisa Ford received 59% of the vote for the council seat that Craig Thurmond has held for 2 decades. The Ford family has been a political powerhouse in the Green Country area for several decades. Ross Ford's legislative race was managed by Lisa Ford and she impressed many politicos for her ability to manage messaging and voter turnout. The Fords are Republicans, but have not been noted for always being fiscal conservatives or consistently on the side of low taxes or individual liberty.
But the controversial mask mandate of this winter became a huge issue, and Thurmond was decidedly a proponent of a mask policy outside the home. He eventually got a resolution passed, but it was not an ordinance.
Ford was supported by Debra Wimpee, a fellow council member who's rumored to be aspiring to the Mayoral post when her council reorganizes. She won her seat handily, last night.