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At 19, mayor-elect's the pride of Muskogee

By Julie Bisbee Modified: May 15, 2008 at 12:51 am •  Published: May 15, 2008

/> McBride complimented Hammons on running a clean race, and said he intends to continue volunteering in the community.

"I told him he could call if he ever has any questions, since I used to be mayor,” McBride said.

The firefighters union, which has been at odds with city government over wages, backed Hammons. Doctors at the Muskogee Regional Medical Center were some of Hammons' top campaign donors.

For Hammons, open and transparent government is a priority.

"People that voted for me wanted change,” said Hammons. "We want to handle the people's business, and we are being open about it. One of the first orders of business is to establish an independent ethics committee and establish campaign finance laws.”

Pretty lofty for someone who doesn't have a credit card and isn't old enough to drink.

For some voters, Hammons provides a breath of fresh air at city hall.

"We really truly needed a change in Muskogee,” said Billye Lackey, who supported Hammons's campaign. "We need new ideas. I don't know this young man. I don't think I know his family; I was just impressed with him.”

Lackey said Hammons' positive outlook and enthusiasm for Muskogee's future was infectious.

Muskogee's mayor-elect, John Tyler Hammons, is shown Wednesday outside the Muskogee Municipal Building. He's bringing national attention to the city. BY NATE BILLINGS, THE OKLAHOMAN

What's next?
•John Tyler Hammons will be sworn in as Muskogee's mayor on Monday.

•His first city council meeting is Tuesday.

•Hammons, a political science major, said he plans to transfer from the University of Oklahoma to the Muskogee branch campus of Northeastern Oklahoma State University.

•"It's a little overwhelming, but I think once the media attention dies down we can get to doing the people's work,” Hammons said. "There is a lot of bad blood throughout the city, but I think by me winning by a large margin we can start to accomplish things.”

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