Greater Oklahoma City Chamber - Greater Oklahoma City Chamber Election Guide

Greater Oklahoma City Chamber Election Guide

UPDATE: RUNOFF ELECTIONS APRIL 4 - OKC Council Ward 4 and OKCPS Board Chair, District 1 and 2; Primary Election for OK County Sheriff

After the elections on Feb. 14, Richard Morrissette and Todd Stone advanced to the runoff election April 4 for OKC City Council in Ward 4.

Get info on City Council Ward 4 candidates

For OKC Public Schools Board Chair, Paula Lewis and Stan Hupfeld advanced to the runoff April 4. In District 1, Charles Henry and Cheryl Poole advanced, and in District 2, Rebecca Budd and Nick Singer advanced.

Get info on School Board Chairperson candidates

Get info on School Board District 1 candidates

Get info on School Board District 2 candidates

OKLAHOMA COUNTY SHERIFF ELECTIONS

Seven candidates filed to run for the position of Oklahoma County sheriff after John Whetsel retired on March 1. Four republicans and two democrats will appear on the primary ballot on April 4. One independent candidate will face the two winners of the primary election at the general election on Sept. 12. 

The Chamber surveyed the candidates on issues that include their priorities, their stance on the Oklahoma County jail and their familiarity with the Chamber’s criminal justice reform task force. 

All candidates for the primary election responded to the survey. Read their full responses.

 

Chamber

Green (d)

Hanson (d)

Christian (r)

Macy (r)

Sorrels (r)

Taylor (r)

Are you familiar with the work of the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Reform Task Force?

YES

Yes

Yes

Yes Yes Yes

Yes

Do you support the implementation of the task force's recommendations?

YES

Yes

Maybe

Yes Yes Yes

Yes

Would you support the formation of an Oklahoma County Jail Trust (similar to operations in Tulsa)?

YES

Yes

NR

Yes Yes Yes

Maybe

Would you support outsourcing management of the jail using an Oklahoma County Jail Trust?

YES

No

No

Yes Maybe Yes

Maybe

Would you support more formal cooperation with the Oklahoma city Police for patrol in the county's unincorporated areas?

YES

Yes

No

Yes No Yes

Yes

DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES:

Virgil Green
Police chief of the Helena-West Helena Police Department in Arkansas

Background: Green has 17 years of experience in law enforcement, including 12 years as Boley police chief.

In his own words: “The operation of the jail has to be the biggest challenges the next Sheriff will face, while it’s no secret Oklahoma County needs a new jail, officials need to look at other ways of housing those who are arrested for nonviolent offenses.”

Mike Hanson
Sergeant with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office

Background: Hanson has been with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s office since 1986. He is currently assigned to courthouse security.

In his own words: “The lawsuits from inmates and employees over terrible jail conditions and office conditions like black mold and other such things will be directly at the citizens. The cost will be much higher than any jail could or would cost.”

REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES

Mike Christian
Former Oklahoma State Representative

Background: Christian is a former Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper and a former state representative. He was defeated in the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s election in November 2016.

In his own words: “I intend to help create and implement an effective process for deciding who stays in the jail, so that the jail is not filled by people who simply cannot afford cash bail.”

Brett Macy
Investigative and financial crimes consultant

Background: Macy’s law enforcement experience includes time with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office and the Oklahoma City Police Department. He currently serves on the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board.

In his own words: “We need to work with social service program professionals and our community partners to provide mental health treatment, veterans’ services, alcohol and drug dependency counseling and other programs designed to help the offenders succeed when their time is served.”

Darrell Sorrels
Deputy with the U.S. Marshall’s Service in the Western District of Oklahoma Court System/MVM

Background: Sorrels started his law enforcement career in 1977 and worked at the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office from 1992 until 2007.

In his own words: “I propose asking the citizens of Oklahoma County to support a bond issue to build a single-story jail complex outside the downtown area, sell the current Oklahoma County jail building and the proceeds from the sale pay off the bond.”

P.D. Taylor
Undersheriff with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office

Background: Taylor started his law enforcement career in 1968, came to the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office in 1997 and has served as undersheriff for almost 14 years.

In his own words: “While many inmates could be better situated in facilities designed more toward their needs such as addiction counseling or mental health treatment, until those options are available in Oklahoma County, the sheriff’s office will remain committed to caring for those that are in our care.”


Oklahoma City Council and Oklahoma City Public Schools Board will hold elections on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. Read on for an overview of the candidates’ priorities based on their feedback to a recent Chamber survey.

City Council Ward 4

School Board Chairperson

School Board District 1

School Board District 2

OKLAHOMA CITY COUNCIL ELECTION RUNNOFF - Ward 4

The Chamber surveyed the candidates on a variety of issues including each candidate’s priorities, the use of public funds for a convention center hotel, the use of the City’s Economic Development Trust to recruit companies to Oklahoma City and support for tax increment financing districts.

Of the 13 candidates who received the survey, 11 responded. Read their full responses.

 

Ward 4:

Richard Morrissette
Attorney

Background: Morrissette is a 12-year Democratic member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, representing House District 92. He was term-limited in 2016.

In his own words: “Our City has achieved incredible progress over the last two decades. Working together, we can, and must, continue this momentum.”

Todd Stone
President and CEO of Dub Stone Construction

Background: Stone is a homebuilder and developer. He has received strong support from State Rep. Chris Kannady (R-Oklahoma City). His son is State Rep. Shane Stone (D-Oklahoma City).

In his own words: “The investment in the heart of the city has been great and needs to continue, but investment also has to be spread to the different areas or we will run a risk of losing the level of support that we currently enjoy.”

 

Chamber

Morrissette

Stone

Do you support the City of OKC participating in a public/private partnership (in which public funds would be used) to build a convention center hotel for OKC's new convention center that was approved by voters as a MAPS 3 project?

YES

Yes

Yes

Do you support allowing voters to decide whether to tax themselves to build a Regional Transit/Commuter Rail System in central Oklahoma (to connect, for example, Norman, Edmond, OKC and Tinker AFB)?

YES

Yes

Yes

Do you support the continued use of the City's Economic Development Trust to recruit companies to locate in OKC?

YES

Yes

Yes

With regard to future MAPS elections, do you believe funds, if approved by voters, should be used only to construct Transformational Projects/Development as in the past?

YES

Yes

Yes

Do you support the use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts to support economic development in OKC?

YES

Yes

Yes

Do you support the use of eminent domain to acquire private property to facilitate the implementation of future MAPS projects?

YES

Yes

Don't know

Do you support the state's Historical Building Tax credit which has been used by the City to renovate buildings such as the Skirvin Hotel?

YES

Yes

Yes

Do you believe the Inter-model Hub for OKC's bus, Amtrak and commuter rail service (if approved by voters) should be located at the Santa Fe Station in downtown OKC?

YES

Yes

Yes

 

OKLAHOMA CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS BOARD ELECTIONS

Three seats on the OKCPS school board are up for election, including chairperson, District 1 and District 2. A total of 11 candidates filed for the seats.

The Chamber surveyed the candidates on issues that are important to the future of the district, including the availability of Pre-K and Kindergarten programs, the continuation and development of charter schools and creating TIF districts to support economic development. Nine of the 11 candidates responded to the Chamber survey. Read their full responses.

Chairperson:

Stanley Hupfeld
Senior consultant for INTEGRIS Health

Background: Hupfeld served as the president and CEO of INTEGRIS from 1995-2010, and he founded the Stanley Hupfeld Academy at Western Village. He is also past chair of the Chamber.   

In his own words: “The district is two things. First it is a big business with thousands of employees, millions of dollars in payroll and over a billion dollars in assets. Secondly it is a social service. We’ll never achieve the magic unless we do the business of the district professionally.”

Paula Lewis
Owner and founder of Oklahoma Therapy Institute

Background: Lewis is a current OKCPS board member for District 4. She has two sons, ages 15 and 5, and is a native of Lawton.

In her own words: “I will foster a culture of collaboration, transparency and accountability. Stability in the superintendent will improve trust and belief in OKCPS by district staff, teachers and community.”

 

Chamber

Hupfeld

Lewis

Should OKC Public Schools make Pre-K and Kindergarten available for all children that want to attend?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Do you support continuation of existing charter schools within the OKC Public Schools service area?

Yes

Yes

Maybe

Do you support development of new charter schools within the OKC Public Schools?

Yes

Maybe

Maybe

Do you believe Oklahoma City Public schools should support creation and utilization of Tax Increment Financing to support economic development?

Yes

Yes

Maybe

District 1:

Charles Henry
Managing attorney of Henry Law Firm

Background: Henry served in the Oklahoma County Public Defender’s office from 1996 until 2004. He has three children, ages 3, 11 and 13.

In his own words: His priorities include “adopting early intervention and remediation programs” and “allotting resources to our schools based on need, not on the number of students and the school.”

Cheryl Poole
Retired OKCPS teacher

Background: Poole had a 36-year teaching career and was named the OKCPS Teacher of the Year in 2001. She is supported by OKC-AFT.

In her own words: “Another challenge facing OKCPS is the matter of trust. With so many superintendents, employees have lost that feeling of someone supporting them.”

 

Chamber

Henry

Poole

Should OKC Public Schools make Pre-K and Kindergarten available for all children that want to attend?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Do you support continuation of existing charter schools within the OKC Public Schools service area?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Do you support development of new charter schools within the OKC Public Schools?

Yes

Yes

Maybe

Do you believe Oklahoma City Public schools should support creation and utilization of Tax Increment Financing to support economic development?

Yes

Yes

Maybe

District 2:

Rebecca Budd
Community activist and volunteer

Background: Budd’s employment history includes a background in pharmaceutical sales. She received a bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University and her MBA from Northwestern University.

In her own words:

“Previously, the Board of Education hired a superintendent and delegated the responsibility of setting the long-term vision of OKCPS to him/her. It's time for the Board to determine where OKCPS is going.”

Nick Singer
Legislative and political organizer for Oklahoma Education Association

Background: Singer ran for House District 87 in 2012 but lost in the general election. He is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma City’s LOYAL Class IX.

In his own words: “We need to meet parents and students where they are at. Every family is different and has different challenges and opportunities.”

 

Chamber

Budd

Singer

Should OKC Public Schools make Pre-K and Kindergarten available for all children that want to attend?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Do you support continuation of existing charter schools within the OKC Public Schools service area?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Do you support development of new charter schools within the OKC Public Schools?

Yes

Maybe

Maybe

Do you believe Oklahoma City Public schools should support creation and utilization of Tax Increment Financing to support economic development?

Yes

Maybe

Maybe

 

Visit www.ok.gov/elections to confirm your voter registration, find your polling place and view sample ballots. If no candidate receives the majority of the votes cast, a runoff election will be held on April 4.