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Oklahoma Election Results: Cooper, Hamon and Stonecipher reelected to OKC Council, dozens of school bonds approved

Jenny Mae Harms

Voters across Oklahoma cast ballots in races for city council members, school board members, mayors and county clerks on Tuesday. Below, we highlight a few of the races.

Oklahoma City Council

Three Oklahoma City council members were successfully reelected.

  • With nearly 77 percent of the vote, James Cooper was easily reelected in Ward 2 over two candidates.
  • Ward 6 councilwoman JoBeth Hamon won another term, with a slim 264 vote margin over Marek Cornett.
  • Mark Stonecipher fought off two challengers to represent Ward 8 for a third time. He received more than 53 percent of the vote over Amy Warne and Frank Urbanic.

OKC will also see one new councilperson, following the retirement of three-term Ward 5 councilman David Greenwell. Matt Hinkle and Thuan Nguyen were the top two vote-getters, but neither were able to get more than 50 percent of the vote in a four-way race. Hinkle and Nguyen will face off in a general election on April 4.

Norman City Council

A couple of incumbents were unseated from the Norman City Council.

In Ward 1, Austin Ball narrowly defeated incumbent Brandi Studley by just 32 votes. This, despite Studley resigning in January to take a job out of state.

Accountant Bree Montoya beat Ward 3 incumbent Kelly Lynn by a vote margin of 201 votes. There was a legal question over whether Lynn could even continue to serve in that role after accepting a municipal judgeship in Wewoka. Lynn may not even be able to complete his current term, which ends in July. A judge could decide his fate before then, if they agree that Lynn violated state law when he took the judgeship.

In Ward 5, there will be an April 4 runoff between incumbent Rarchar Tortorello and former councilmember Michael Nash, who are both against Oklahoma Turnpike Authority's ACCESS Oklahoma turnpike expansion in the Norman area.

School bond proposals

More than a dozen school bond proposals also appeared before voters.

Norman Public Schools
Norman voters approved a massive 10-year, $353.9 million bond proposal package, which includes a more than $24 million upgrade to the Norman North football stadium, which is currently only used by freshman and junior varsity squads. The school's varsity team has shared Norman High’s football stadium for home games for more than 25 years.

Norman High's football stadium will also see upgrades, while more than $32 million will go toward the construction of a stand-alone facility for the Oklahoma Aviation Academy at Max Westheimer Airport.

Officials say approval of the bond package will not result in new taxes for residents.

Stillwater Public Schools
Stillwater voters overwhelmingly approved two school bond propositions.

The biggest feature of which is the construction of a new two-story high school building, which would be built north of Pioneer Stadium, in the current location of Cimarron Plaza. Other improvements include renovated athletic facilities, and the purchase of four swimming lanes at the new YMCA.

The package amounts to $195 million over 10 years, but will not add any new or additional taxes for residents.

Construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2023.

Mustang Public Schools
Mustang voters voted to raise their taxes by approving two bond propositions, for a total of nearly $181 million.

A large portion of the proposal funds the construction of new classrooms, gym, cafeteria and more at the high school. A new elementary school will also be built, at a location yet to be determined. Additional funds will go toward new heating and air conditioning systems, upgraded technology and updated playground equipment.

Officials say this is the first phase of a three-phase plan. The second and third phases will likely be proposed in 2027 and 2031.

More school districts pass bond issues
Bartlesville, Chandler, Coweta, Elk City, Garber, Jenks, Millwood, Skiatook and Union are among school districts that also had their bond proposals approved by voters.

Not all school bonds passed, however. Both Catoosa and Coyle's school bond proposals failed to reach the passing threshold.

Bond issues must be very popular in the communities that approve them. In Oklahoma, a 60 percent supermajority of voters must approve a local school bond issue for it to pass.

Ryan LaCroix is the Director of Content and Audience Development for KOSU.
Robby Korth joined KOSU as its news director in November 2022.
Logan Layden is a reporter and managing editor for StateImpact Oklahoma.
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