Eight of the 13 municipal candidates who had signed FOI Oklahoma’s Open Government Pledge were elected Tuesday.
They have promised that they and their city governments “will comply with not only the letter but also the spirit of Oklahoma’s Open Meeting and Open Records laws.”
Four were challengers: three in Norman and one in Stillwater.
Three pledge signers were involved in close elections. In Guthrie, Ward 3 incumbent Gaylord Z. Thomas won by nine votes.
In Norman, challenger Stephen Tyler Holman was elected over another pledge signer, incumbent Linda Lockett, for the Ward 7 seat by 27 votes.
Another pledge signer in Guthrie, Trey Ayers, lost his bid for mayor but remains on the council as the Ward 1 representative.
Here is the list of winners by city:
- Guthrie City Council
- John Wood, Ward 1 (re-elected)
- Gaylord Z. Thomas, Ward 3 (re-elected)
- Cindy Rosenthal, mayor (re-elected)
- Greg Heiple, Ward 1 (challenger)
- Robert Castleberry, Ward 3 (re-elected)
- Lynne Miller, Ward 5 (challeger)
- Stephen Tyler Holman, Ward 7 (challenger)
- Gina Noble, Seat 2 (challenger)
Each pledged “to support at every opportunity the public policy of the State of Oklahoma that the people are vested with the inherent right to know and be fully informed about their government so that they can efficiently and intelligently exercise their inherent political power.”
What if they don’t live up to these promises now that they’ve been elected?
Then voters should show them the door at the next election and elect people with the integrity to conduct our government in the open. Ultimately, it’s up to the voters to hold our elected officials accountable.
Joey Senat, Ph.D
OSU School of Media & Strategic Communications
The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the commentators and do not necessarily represent the position of FOI Oklahoma Inc., its staff, or its board of directors. Differing interpretations of open government law and policy are welcome.