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Oklahoma City Council candidates look for votes before Tuesday's election

Candidates in Tuesday's election for two seats on the Oklahoma City Council worked for votes on the final weekend of the race.
by William Crum Published: April 1, 2013

He said a lot of voters were telling him they wanted “new blood” on the council.

“I've heard that phrase a lot,” Greiner said.


Ronald “Skip” Kelly

Two-term City Council member Ronald “Skip” Kelly attended Saturday afternoon's candidate forum at St. John Missionary Baptist Church, fielding questions on public transportation, threats faced by children exposed to violence, and residential neighborhoods squeezed by development.

Kelly, 63, won a six-way Ward 7 race in the March primary but fell short of winning outright.

Kelly said he was stressing his record of accomplishment in steering city spending to northeast Oklahoma City for streets and sidewalks, lighting to increase security, and centers where young people can find a safe haven.

The city announced last week that Social Security offices would be moving to Ward 7.

And Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett highlighted Kelly's record in telephone calls to voters and in ads running on radio.

Kelly reported having $20,000 to spend for the final weeks of the campaign.

An attorney in private practice, Kelly had a newspaper ad noting challenger John A. Pettis Jr. lacks a college degree and questioning Pettis' youth and business experience.

John A. Pettis Jr.

John A. Pettis Jr., 30, met voters and helped out Saturday with the annual Easter egg hunt at the King David Masonic Lodge on Highland Avenue off NE 23.

Pettis ran second with 26 percent in the March primary, which drew only 3,114 voters.

Thanks in large part to donations from political committees — including the Fraternal Order of Police and labor groups and Realtors — he was able to close the fundraising gap with incumbent Kelly.

Pettis had a radio ad up over the weekend with the police union calling for a council member for Ward 7 who would “stand up against crime.”

In a newspaper ad last week, Pettis said, “I have run a positive campaign” — but Pettis made the assertion only after drawing attention to a pending drunken driving case against Kelly.

Pettis' latest fundraising report, dated March 25, showed him with almost $14,000 left to spend: “We feel good about the direction of the campaign,” he said.

by William Crum
OU and Norman High School graduate, formerly worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and the Norman Transcript. Married, two children, lives in Norman.
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