Three people signed up Tuesday to challenge Ronald “Skip” Kelly for the Ward 7 seat on the Oklahoma City Council after the first day of filing for the upcoming municipal elections.
Kelly was among four council incumbents who filed to retain their seats, and only one other race developed during the day.
Filing for Wards 1, 3, 4 and 7 runs through Thursday at the Oklahoma County Election Board offices, 4201 N Lincoln Blvd. The election is scheduled for March 5; a runoff, if needed, would take place April 2.
Running against Kelly as of Tuesday will be John E. Bilbury III, 57, a retired veteran; Lillie R. Buckner, 74, a Democratic activist and board member for the Interfaith Alliance; and John A. Pettis Jr., 30, director of the Oklahoma Institute for Minority Affairs.
Kelly, 63, is an Oklahoma City attorney who was elected to the council in 2008 and ran unopposed in 2009.
He is facing a felony charge of driving while intoxicated after being arrested in January 2012 on suspicion of drunken driving for the second time in less than three years. A preliminary hearing is scheduled March 15.
If elected and then convicted on the charge, Kelly would have to give up his council seat.
Running against former Oklahoma City Fire Chief Gary Marrs, 66, for the Ward 1 seat as of Tuesday is James Greiner, 31, a graphic designer at Hobby Lobby. Marrs was first elected to the city council in 2004.
Larry McAtee, 74, and Pete White, 73, are so far unopposed in their bids to retain the Wards 3 and 4 seats, respectively.
McAtee was appointed to the council in 2001; White served on the council from 1982 to 1989 and won election again in 2005.
Candidates must be U.S. citizens, at least 21 years old and have been a city resident for at least three years.
Candidates also must be qualified voters in Oklahoma City and must have been registered to vote in the ward for which they intend to represent for at least six months before filing.
The filing fee is $200, or candidates can submit a petition signed by 500 registered, eligible voters instead.
Each council seat is for a four-year term and pays $12,000 annually.
Candidacy filing forms can be picked up from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the county election board offices. Ward maps can be viewed at www.okc.gov.