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April 2, 2014

Lang defeats Griffith; Jungman retains seat; runoff set in Ward 2

NORMAN — The Norman City Council will say goodbye to three-term Council member Dr. Jim Griffith. Griffith served the city for six years but was toppled by political newcomer Jerry Lang in voting Tuesday.

In Ward 4, Greg Jungman retained his council seat and will serve a second term.

In Ward 2, Clint Williams and Aleisha Karjala will face off in a June runoff to replace Councilman Tom Kovach, who did not seek re-election.

Ward 8 Council member Chad Williams did not draw an opponent and retained his seat.

Lang said he was stunned when his brother, Joe, called from California to congratulate him. Joe Lang was following the race online and saw the results before Jerry did.

“I am absolutely humbled. This experience the last two months has been so rewarding, just getting and meeting people door to door,” Jerry Lang said. “It’s the reason Connie and I live in Norman. The people in Norman are so phenomenal.”

Lang said even when people didn’t agree with him, they would talk about the issues and express their concerns.

“There’s no way I can express how overwhelmed and honored I am,” Lang said.

Lang, 59, is a former businessman turned third-grade teacher at All-Saints Catholic School.

Griffith, 65, has been a Norman dentist for 25 years and is a former adjunct professor in the OU College of Dentistry. He served on the city council since 2008.

“I’m deeply appreciative of all the support I’ve received from my constituents during my six years on (the) council,” Griffith said. “It’s been time well invested.”

Griffith said he is grateful to all of his supporters and campaign contributors.

“I’m disappointed I’ll not get to serve another term,” Griffith said, “but I congratulate Mr. Lang on his victory and wish him all the best.”

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