The Norman Transcript

April 3, 2013

Council trio unseated

By Joy Hampton and Jessica Bruha
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — “Upset” was the word of the day Tuesday for Norman’s city council elections. Wards 1, 5 and 7 will have new council members in coming months.

In Ward 3, recent appointee Robert Castleberry will retain his seat.

In Ward 1 incumbent Roger Gallagher was toppled by Greg Heiple.

“I’m 72 and healthy,” Gallagher said. “I’m OK.”

Gallagher had planned for this to be his last term in office, had he retained the seat.

Heiple carried 59.5 percent of the vote, with 425 to Gallagher’s 289 votes.

“Profoundly humbled,” Heiple said about his win. “That’s all I have to say.”

Gallagher said he enjoyed his time in office.

“I was going to do one more and be done, but that’s OK. I did it on very little money and just knocking on doors,” he said. “You have to do something almost every day (as a council member) for very little to no money, but it’s a lot of fun.”

Gallagher said he enjoyed serving the city of Norman.

In Ward 3 Castleberry was challenged by Benjamin Carter, but Carter had to withdraw when he moved out of the ward. Because the deadline had passed, Carter’s name was still on the ballot. He garnered 335 votes to Castleberry’s 1,528 votes — 82 percent, and the biggest win margin of the evening.

“It was a unique experience to go out and knock on doors and meet people,” Castleberry said. “I think the city’s headed in the right direction. I look forward to working with the mayor some more and new council members.

“It’s hard to lose three people you’ve been working with. There’s some camaraderie there, but I look forward to working with some new people and getting some fresh ideas,” he said.

Challenger Lynne Miller upset incumbent Dave Spaulding in Ward 5.

“It was really important to me, that’s why I worked so hard,” said Miller, a retired educator.

Miller, whose late husband also served on the council, picked up 57.9 percent of the vote with 802 to Spaulding’s 583 votes, representing 42 percent.

Attempts to reach Spaulding late Tuesday were unsuccessful.

In Ward 7, Linda Lockett and Stephen Tyler Holman ran a tight race for the second time. Two years ago, Lockett won by 21 votes. This time, she lost by 27 votes.

“I think there was nothing similar about us,” Lockett said. “I think they made their choice.

“I’m disappointed, I think I served the council well and I think I would have in the future, but I have no apologies. I think we ran a very hard, clean race that I’m proud of.”

“I can hardly believe it, Norman is my hometown and I’m still kind of overwhelmed by it,” Holman said. “We figured that it’d probably be close. Our ward has a historically low voter turnout. We told everyone it could come down to one vote, so vote, vote, vote.

“Every door we knocked on, every person we talked to, every Facebook message we sent out, we tried to make it clear it could come to just one vote,” Holman said.

Holman, 28, was one of the youngest to run. Carter, also 28, withdrew from the bid for Ward 3.

Lockett, 74, like Gallagher, was one of the oldest to have council seats.

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