NORMAN — Tuesday’s presidential election has generated most of the headlines but our local races are just as important. The Transcript has reviewed candidates and makes the following endorsements. In several races, we have chosen not to give our backing:
In House District 45, we believe east Norman would be best served by former educator and election board secretary Paula Roberts. She taught business, math and accounting and served without questions as our county’s election board secretary for 22 years. She understands the district’s dynamics and its public institutions and would provide a more reasonable and positive voice to the county’s delegation.
Judging by campaign finance reports, Roberts’ local supporters are many and include a number of Republicans. The House 45 seat has always been a close race and we don’t expect anything different on Tuesday. The district includes about 3,000 voters registered as Independent, 8,600 Republicans and 9,000 Democrats. That’s why neither party can’t count the seat as a lock.
If elected, we believe Roberts would provide a better balance in the county’s delegation to the state House.
Cleveland County incumbent Court Clerk Rhonda Hall has maintained a top notch clerk’s office for a number of years. She practically grew up in the office and knows every aspect. Her professional expertise is drawn upon statewide and Cleveland County is lucky to have her here. We believe she merits another term.
For sheriff, we again endorse incumbent Joe Lester. He has raised the qualifications and salaries of deputies. Additionally, the department’s visibility is quite different than when he took office four years ago.
He has done a respectable job opening the new detention center which was designed before he took office. The number of inmates is up because the state can’t free up space to accept sentenced inmates out of our jail.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Early, in-person absentee voting continues from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday at the Cleveland County Election Board, 641 E. Robinson. Results, as they become available, will be posted to www.normantranscript.com