Muskogee’s young mayor won re-election outright Tuesday night, surprising even him. John Tyler Hammons, a 21-year-old college student, said he and his campaign staff were already preparing for a run-off election while votes were being counted. But Hammons managed to defeat his three opponents, who were each more than twice his age, to earn a second term as mayor. Hammons received 2,531 votes, which was 51 percent of ballots cast. "It’s a great show of confidence,” he said. "Two years ago, after I got elected the first time, I said change takes commitment. The voters have shown that they’re up to the challenge.” Hammons will face some big challenges this term. The community is facing a $1.8 million budget shortfall. Hammons said he is determined to find ways to trim expenses without forcing employees to take furloughs. Hammons’ goals include working with law enforcement officers to prevent drug activity, developing permanent funding for economic development, and creating transparency in government. During the last two years, he said he has learned the value of confidence and compromise, which will help him moving forward. Several of his opponents criticized him for discord between the mayor and the city council. Hammons said he has noticed a lack of respect and division, but he has made progress toward bridging that gap. He said he plans to continue to work to develop a more amicable relationship with other members of the council. Hammons celebrated his victory at Cowboy’s Bar-B-Que & Grill in Muskogee with about 50 friends and supporters. "I want to thank the voters of Muskogee for sending me back to office,” Hammons said.Comments
In other votesVoters in Weatherford decided to extend a 1-cent sales tax for 10 years. The tax was set to expire in September. It will help fund a variety of city infrastructure projects, including a new fire station, an events center, a beautification corridor between downtown and the Southwestern Oklahoma State University campus, improvements at the middle school and two elementary schools, and construction of a surgical unit at Weatherford Regional Hospital. Chickasha voters approved a $20.2 million bond issue to build an early childhood center for pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first-grade students. The 61,000-square-foot building will have 28 regular classrooms, a gymnasium/auditorium area, a library media center, and more. It will use a geo-thermal heating/cooling system, which officials hope will save the district money over time. In Duncan, a $118.9 million bond issue to upgrade the high school building and extra curricular facilities and build three new elementary school buildings failed. More than 80 percent of voters were against the bond issue. Ron Millican won the Office 7 seat on the Oklahoma City School Board. Millican defeated Larry Collins, who announced he no longer wanted the seat about a month ago. Nearly 90 percent of Washita Heights voters approved annexation to the Cordell School District, effective May 1.
(x) = winner
BLAINE COUNTYWatonga schools Office 5: Kristi Bruner 151 (37.6%); (x) Earl Lane Edsall 251 (62.4%)
CANADIAN COUNTYCounty commissioner District 3 (unexpired term): (x) Jack Stewart, Republican 863 (56%); John Y. Morris, Democrat 679 (44%) City of Mustang City council Ward 2: Kathleen Moon 100 (39.2%); (x) Mark Grubbs 155 (60.8%) City of Piedmont City council Ward 1: Craig Eidson 27 (31.4%); (x) Larry M. Gage 59 (68.6%)
CARTER COUNTYCity of Lone Grove City council Ward 5: (x) Mickey Davis 100 (64.1%); Michael T. Hicks 56 (35.9%)
CLEVELAND COUNTYCity of Noble City council Ward 3 (unexpired term): Robert Stegman 5 (16.7%); (x) Gail Hatfield 25 (83.3%)
CREEK COUNTYGypsy School Proposition 1: $80,000 bond issue for replacement or renovation of the district’s bus barn. If funds are available, roof improvements and installation of heaters in a gym are planned. Yes 79 (78.2%); No 22 (21.8%). Passed. Proposition 2: $170,000 to buy buses. Yes 82 (82%); No 18 (18%). Passed. Pretty Water School $225,000 bond issue for a new roof, installation of 11 heating and air conditioning units and painting and repair of the exterior of a school building. Yes 68 (50%); No 68 (50%). Failed.
CUSTER COUNTYFive propositions for various improvements in Weatherford. If all five propositions are approved, a 1-cent sales tax that expires in September would be extended for 10 years. Percentages of the 1-cent tax would be dedicated to separate projects. If some but not all of the projects are approved, the sales tax extension would be less than 1 cent. Proposition 1: 41 percent of the penny tax for city infrastructure improvements, including construction of a fire station. Yes 1,233 (77.9%); No 350 (22.1%). Passed. Proposition 2: 34 percent of the penny tax would go toward a $14 million event center that would be shared by Southwestern Oklahoma State University. SWOSU plans to pay half of the cost of construction. Yes 997 (62.9%); No 589 (37.1%). Passed. Proposition 3: 15 percent of the penny tax for beautification of a corridor between downtown Weatherford and the SWOSU campus. Yes 993 (62.7%); No 591 (37.3%). Passed. Proposition 4: 5 percent of the penny tax for construction of a combination band room and safe room at the Weatherford School District’s middle school and renovation of rest rooms at East and West elementary schools. Yes 1,208 (76.4%); No 374 (23.6%). Passed. Proposition 5: 5 percent of the penny tax toward construction of a surgical unit at Weatherford Regional Hospital. Yes 988 (62.6%); No 591 (37.4%). Passed.
GARVIN COUNTYWynnewood Schools $275,000 bond issue for school renovations and technology equipment. Yes 256 (86.2%); No 41 (13.8%). Passed.
GRADY COUNTYChickasha Schools $20.2 million bond issue for an early childhood center for pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade. Yes 829 (66.6%); No 415 (33.4%). Passed.
HUGHES COUNTYCity of Healdton Extension of a 1-cent sales tax to fund the local hospital. Yes 346 (90.9%); No 36 (9.1%). Passed.
JACKSON COUNTYEl Dorado Schools $150,000 bond issue for telephones, intercom, security system, furnishings, upgrading the science lab and lunch room, refurbishing the interior and exterior, electrical work, lighting and new water fountains for the elementary and high schools. Yes 115 (85.8%); No 19 (14.2%). Passed.
KAY COUNTYCity of Blackwell City council Ward 2: Jerry Reid 268 (45.2%); (x) Max Wirtz 325 (54.8%) Peckham Schools Proposition 1: $115,000 bond issue to repair the gym floor and school buildings. Yes 53 (85.5%); No 9 (14.5%). Passed. Proposition 2: $160,000 bond issue to buy two buses. Yes 53 (85.5%); No 9 (14.5%). Passed.
LINCOLN COUNTYCity of Wellston Extension of a half-cent sales tax for streets and sidewalks. Yes 34 (100%); No 0 (0%). Passed.
MUSKOGEE COUNTYCity of Muskogee Mayor: John "Bob” Coburn 1,447 (29.4%); Teresa Carol Garris 67 (1.36%); (x) John Tyler Hammons 2,531 (51.4%); Chris James 877 (17.8%)
OKFUSKEE COUNTYPaden Schools Office 5: (x) Keith Fipps 179 (59.3%); Kyle Norman 123 (40.7%)
OKLAHOMA COUNTYOklahoma City Schools Office 7: (x) Ron Millican 194 (73.8%); Larry Collins 69 (26.2%)
PAYNE COUNTYCity of Cushing City commission Ward 3: (x) F. Carey Seigle 386 (56.3%); John Henckel 300 (43.7%) City of Stillwater City council Ward 2: (x) John W. Bartley 1,965 (64.9%); Gary L. Stanton 1,065 (35.1%) City of Yale City commission Ward 2: (x) Richard Adsit 164 (65.1%); Jimmie Crenshaw 88 (34.9%)
PONTOTOC COUNTYCity of Roff Proposal to allow the mayor to appoint the position of town clerk/treasurer. Yes 36 (63%); No 21 (37%). Passed.
STEPHENS COUNTYCity of Duncan City council Ward 3: (x) Tommy Edwards 4,334 (77.1%); Clyde Shaw 1,288 (22.9%) City council Ward 4: (x) Ricky Mayes 3,368 (60.1%); John Herdt 2,232 (39.9%) Duncan Schools $118.9 million bond issue to upgrade the high school building and extracurricular facilities. The district also would build three new elementary schools. Yes 1,119 (18.8%); No 4,841 (81.2%). Failed. Marlow Schools Office 5: (x) Terry Turner 271 (50.8%); Cody Bannister 263 (49.2%)
TULSA COUNTYCity of Bixby City council Ward 4: Rod Taylor 184 (40.8%); (x) Ray Bowen 267 (59.2%) City of Collinsville City council Ward 3: Melodie Bateman 47 (44.8%); (x) Sherri L. Davis 58 (55.2%) Glenpool Schools Proposition 1: $25 million bond issue for 25 new classrooms, expanding the district’s kitchen and the high school’s student center, completing road construction, resurfacing the track and football field, and adding a new gymnasium, baseball and softball fields and a locker room. Yes 449 (84.4%); No 83 (15.6%). Passed. Proposition 2: $170,000 bond issue for two school buses. Yes 448 (84.2%); No 84 (15.8%). Passed.
WASHITA COUNTYWashita School Voters will decide whether to approve annexation to the Cordell School District, effective May 1. Yes 212 (87.2%); No 31 (12.8%). Passed.