NORMAN — Voters Tuesday overwhelmingly elected Mayor Cindy Rosenthal to a third term and supported a hike in the hotel/motel room tax, while three incumbents in Wards 1, 5 and 7 lost their seats to challengers.
Rosenthal, 62, garnered 5,898 votes, or 54.2 percent of the vote in 49 precincts, to earn another three-year term.
Opponent Tom Sherman, 67, received 4,050 votes, or 37.2 percent, and David Kempf, 51, received 928 votes, or 8.5 percent.
Three incumbents fall
In Ward 1, Greg Heiple, 48, a small-business man, won with 425 votes, or 59.5 percent of the vote, compared to 289 votes cast for incumbent Roger Gallagher, 72.
Ward 5 incumbent Dave Spaulding, 38, lost to Lynne Miller.
Miller, 67, a retired educator, garnered 802 votes, or 57.9 percent, compared to 583, or 42.1 percent, cast for Spaulding.
In Ward 7 candidate Stephen Tyler Holman, 28, received 218 votes, 27 more than incumbent Linda Lockett, 74, who polled 191.
Holman, who works for Astronomics, captured 53.3 percent of the total votes cast in the race.
In Ward 3, Benjamin Joel Carter, 28, garnered a small percentage of votes against incumbent Robert Castleberry, although he has withdrawn from the race and is ineligible to serve because he no longer lives in the ward.
He withdrew too late for his name to be taken off the ballot.
Castleberry received 1,528 votes compared to 335 votes that were cast for Carter.
Her vision for future
A jubilant Rosenthal said she ran a positive campaign “that stuck to the issues and our vision for Norman's future.
“The citizens of Norman confirmed their commitment to a comprehensive water solution, increased citizen input and a great quality of life in Norman.”
Rosenthal said her positive campaigning “won out over the cynicism and political attacks that so often pervade our elections.”
Hotel/motel tax wins
Final balloting for a proposition that the city's hotel/motel tax be increased by 1 percent, from 4 to 5 percent, showed 8,397 “yes” votes, compared to 2,462 “no” votes.
Stephen Koranda, executive director of Norman's Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the increased hotel/motel room tax will boost economic development and pay for “quality of life” enhancements for residents.
Fifty percent of the hotel/motel room tax goes to the convention and tourism bureau, with 25 percent going to the Norman Arts Council and another 25 percent going to the city's Parks and Recreation Department.
“More money for tourism promotion means more people coming to Norman and spending money that builds our sales tax base,” Koranda said.
“Additional revenue into the tax base means more money for the city to pay for municipal services like law enforcement, firefighters and street maintenance.”
All results are unofficial until certified by the county election board.