The Norman Transcript

May 27, 2014

Republicans will choose between four candidates for commissioner

By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Republicans will have a broad field to choose from in the June 24 primary, and that includes the District 3 Cleveland County commissioner’s race.

Collectively, the Board of County Commissioners acts as the chief administrative body of the county.

While it’s too late for registered voters to change party affiliation, voters have until the end of the week to get registered or to update name or address changes before the June 24 primary election.

County officials, as well as many state and federal offices, will be on the primary ballot. In some cases, the primary will be the deciding election.

Additionally, Norman’s Ward 2 residents will vote on city council candidates Aleisha Karjala and Clint Williams.

Oklahoma residents who are U.S. citizens and are at least 18 years old may register.

Registration application forms are available at the County Election Board office, 641 E. Robinson St., and at all tag agencies, post offices and public libraries in the county. Applications also are available at clevelandcountyelectionboard.com.

You may register by mail or in person at the election board office through 5 p.m. Friday. Mailed applications must be postmarked no later than midnight Friday to qualify to vote June 24.

Four Republican candidates for the open District 3 Cleveland County commissioner seat will face off in the June 24 election. If needed, a primary runoff election will be Aug. 26.

The winner of the Republican nomination will take on lone Democrat, Cal Hobson, 69. Hobson served first in the Oklahoma House of Representatives and then in the Oklahoma Senate. He left the legislature in 2007 because of term limits.

County commissioners are responsible for maintaining and constructing county roads and bridges, but they also set and administer policy for the county.

Commissioners buy and sell public land and facilities, implement economic development, approve or reject bids on major purchases, develop personnel policy and authorize and maintain inventory of county property.

Commissioners also serve on the county budget board, along with other elected county officials, to oversee how county dollars are spent.

District 3 runs along the western border of Cleveland County and includes Lexington, Noble and Slaughterville. It also goes through Norman to south Oklahoma City.

Republican candidates on the June 24 ballot for county commissioner are:

· Daryl Covey, 62, R-Lexington:

Covey is the founding chairman of the Cedar Country Fire Protection District, which provides emergency responses in eastern Cleveland County and Cleveland County Rural Water District No. 1.

He served in both capacities for more than 10 years and represented Cleveland County in the development of the Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan.

Covey retired from the National Weather Center Norman after 38 years as a meteorologist and manager. His federal career included founding and managing the NEXRAD Hotline. He is a graduate of the universities of Oklahoma and Wisconsin and the Federal Executive Institute and is author of the book “Government Customer Service Standards.”

Covey is a native Oklahoman, an active member of the Pride of Oklahoma Alumni Marching Band and founder of a professional community of people in government sharing best practices in service delivery.

While raising his family in Cleveland County, he served as a volunteer firefighter, neighborhood association volunteer, school volunteer, academic tutor, Scout leader and church orchestra musician.

· Harold Haralson, 59, R-Norman:

A local physician and former Norman mayor, Haralson has practiced family and emergency medicine in Cleveland County for nearly 30 years. He’s a U.S. Navy veteran and served as Norman mayor from 2004-2007. A conservative, Haralson served as the chairman of the Cleveland County Republican party last year.

An Eagle Scout growing up, he graduated with a B.S. from the University of Oklahoma and attended OU Medical School. Haralson is a volunteer adjunct professor at the OU College of Nursing and director of Emergency Medical Services with the Noble Fire Department.

He is a member of Kiwanis, the American Legion and Sons of the American Revolution. He and wife, Sue, live in west Norman. Haralson is the father of two adult sons, Nathaniel and Matthew. Sue’s daughter is Courtney.

· Blaine Nice, 55, R-Norman:

Nice, a former city attorney has lived and worked in Norman for 25 years. Nice said he strongly believes the county needs to continue our fiscally responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars and that leadership and integrity are vital characteristics for a county commissioner to possess.

Nice graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1986. He worked his way through college in construction and as a police officer. He previously served the city of Norman in the city attorney’s office for 24 years.

He is currently an attorney at Fellers and Snider, where he works on municipal law. Nice and wife, Candy, a Registered Nurse for G.I. of Norman, have four children, Kyle, 31, Justin, 30, John, 23, and Alley, 22.

· Mike Reynolds, 63, R-Oklahoma City:

Reynolds’ family has been in Oklahoma since statehood. He was born in Quantico, Va., while his father was stationed there in the U.S. Marine Corp, on March 19, 1951. His parents are Jack D. and Earlene (Lightfoot) Reynolds.

He is married to Nancy (Smith), and their children are Sarah, Daniel and David. Mike is an ordained deacon and a member of Southern Hills Baptist Church.

Reynolds graduated from U. S. Grant High School in 1969 and earned his B.S. from the University of Oklahoma. He is a computer consultant and president of New Creations Software Inc.

Past experience includes time in the U.S. Air Force, from which he was honorably discharged. He served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives from the 49th Legislature to the present.

Reynolds’ brother, Jim Reynolds, is currently Cleveland County treasurer.

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