Even if she had faced a challenger, it's likely just a fraction of her ward would have decided the outcome. A review of recent local elections shows citizen participation in local government is abysmal.
Only 4 percent of registered Ward 6 voters cast ballots when Ann Simank won re-election for a second four-year term in 1999. Only 6 percent voted in a race that put Amy U. Brooks into the Ward 2 seat vacated by Councilman Mark Schwartz earlier that year.
The 1998 mayoral race set a high-water mark in local politics when 21 percent of the city's 235,505 registered voters cast ballots in the primary battle among seven candidates, including three sitting council members.
Veteran political consultant Don Hoover isn't surprised.
Hoover, who handled races for Brooks, Schwartz and once for Jack Cornett, said incumbents are hard to unseat unless they've developed "very strong negatives."
A council position only pays $20 a week, yet Hoover estimates the cost of winning the office at between $50,000 and $60,000.
The money pays for radio and print advertising, phone banks and maybe even a political consultant like Hoover.
"There is no substitute, though, for a candidate meeting with active people in various neighborhoods and knocking on doors," Hoover said. "That makes the difference because turnout is usually very very low unless there is something else on the ballot driving the voting, like MAPS or something else that has high visibility."
What else must a person know before running for council? There are legal requirements:
Candidates must file a declaration of candidacy with the Oklahoma County Election Board about a month before the primary election. The filing period for the next council races will be in February.
Candidates are required to attach a petition supporting their candidacy with the signatures of at least 25 qualified ward voters. They also must pay the election board a $50 filing fee.
There are also some political realities gathered from City Hall observers that aren't in the books:
Police and fire union members are active voters in city races, and their support is often crucial. A visit with the
mayor can result in winning important
allies. And a meeting with one or more
of Oklahoma City's chambers of commerce certainly wouldn't hurt.