Lawton’s City Council will have two new members when the new council term begins in January.
Linda Chapman bested incumbent Caleb Davis Tuesday to win the Ward 3 City Council seat. By evening’s end, Chapman won 62.68 percent of the ballots cast, or 351 votes. Davis, who was seeking his second term, won 209 votes, or 37.32 percent of the vote.
Davis, a local contractor, began his first term in January 2017. Earlier this year, he was charged with a misdemeanor count — which was upgraded to a felony count just before September’s primary election — of embezzling $6,000 through the online “Think Lawton” group, which identifies Davis as being its administrator and moderator. His preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 13. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until the prosecution proves his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Chapman is a retired music teacher who was running for her first political office. She said she was thrilled with the results, after a long day that began shortly after 6 a.m.
“It’s not just me. It’s everyone,” she said, crediting the help she received throughout her campaign. “The walks, the calls, all the social media, was so important. I appreciate every person who marked their ballot for me.
“I am very, very excited. And, very grateful for everyone who came out for me. It’s very humbling.”
Davis, who spent Tuesday evening attending the regular City Council meeting that didn’t end until 10 p.m., said he didn’t have time to prepare a written statement.
Chapman will be sworn into office Jan. 13, along with Ward 4 Incumbent Jay Burk and Ward 5 Councilman-Elect Allan Hampton. Burk, who is going into his final term, did not draw an opponent. Hampton won his seat when Ward 5 incumbent Dwight Tanner changed his mind after filing and announced he would not seek re-election.
In other elections, Indiahoma residents selected a new school board member to fill the unexpired Office 1 seat previously held by Scott Tanner. Chris Webster gained 111 votes, or 68.94 percent, to edge out Colleen Longacre, who had 50 votes, or 31.06 percent.
In Jackson County, Altus voters participated in a Freeholder election, giving residents in each of the city’s four City Council wards the chance to select two members to a Board of Freeholders. That eight-member board will be tasked with reviewing the Altus City Charter to determine if changes need to be made.
Creation of that board was called for by the council earlier this year following a failed November 2018 vote to modify the city charter. Once members are elected, the board will have 90 days to review the charter and recommend changes, which would be submitted to voters for approval.
Those selected are:
Ward 1: Allen Collins, 76 votes, and Tom Buchanan, 64 votes; Ward 2: Jeremy Bailey, 73 votes, and Linda Walker, 53 votes; Ward 3: Sherri Dirickson, 31 votes, and Timothy Scott, 32 votes; Ward 4, Stacy Belanger, 89 votes, and Ron Osterhout, 73 votes.
Anadarko residents easily passed all of the propositions to amend the city charter.
Proposition 1, to update department names to their current names, passed with 98 yes votes and 36 no votes.
Proposition 2, to remove the need for an election when another utility needs a contract with the city for a usage lease of poles in utility rights of way, passed 84 to 50.
Proposition 3 to provide for all city election procedures to be established by ordinances; or the council may adopt procedures under state law, passed 86 to 48.
Proposition 4 to specify the filing period for municipal candidates will be determined by ordinance approved by the council; or the council may adopt the procedure under state law, passed 89 to 45.
Proposition 5 to consolidate all city boards and commissions under one article, passed 93 to 41.
Proposition 6, to update the language for contracts for public improvements made on public property to conform to procedures and limits in state law, with the option of allowing the council to adopt purchasing stricter requirements but not exceed state law, passed 93 to 41.
Proposition 7, to expand the eligibility of all residents to seek municipal office, limit compensation or gifts to city officials, limit outside employment or contracts of city employees that provide for conflict of interest, require declarations of conflicts of interest and recusal from decisions, and provide a penalty for violations, passed 93 to 41.