Clark wins

Breea Clark celebrates Tuesday at Blackbird Gastropub after winning the mayoral election.

Breea Clark is Norman’s next mayor, incumbents Kate Bierman and Stephen Tyler Holman won re-election and the Ward 3 race is headed to a runoff.

Mayor-elect Clark secured victory with 6,717 total votes (51.4 percent), defeating Bill Hickman (5,880 votes — 45 percent) and Evan Dunn (464 votes — 3.5 percent), according to unofficial totals posted Tuesday night by the Oklahoma State Election Board.

Following Tuesday’s result, Clark thanked volunteers, supporters and her family for propelling her to victory.

“I’m incredibly excited,” she said. “I ran a clean, positive campaign. We didn’t raise the most money but we had the most dedicated volunteers and I had an amazing team. We involved the young people in this election and I think that’s what made the difference.”

She said she intends to reach out to her fellow council members to begin collaborating on Norman’s future.

“Tomorrow I’m going to email all of the council members and ask to meet with them,” she said Tuesday night at her victory party at Blackbird Gastropub. “I want to hear their vision for Norman.”

Hickman said he congratulated his fellow council member Tuesday night on a hard-fought campaign.

"I’m looking forward to continuing to work for the people of Norman to move our community forward and improve the quality of life for all of our residents,” he said.  

On Tuesday, he posted the following message to social media: 

"It’s been said the journey is as important as the destination and that is definitely true. Earlier this evening, I conceded and congratulated Mayor Elect Clark. I will have a more detailed post tomorrow. But for tonight I wish to thank the many volunteers and supporters who helped on this campaign. I will never forget you and this experience we shared, and am so grateful for you."

In Ward 3, Alison Petrone (1,249 votes — 49.84 percent) nearly took an outright win, but fell short by fewer than 10 votes. She will face Richard Bailey (1,123 votes — 44.81 percent) in a runoff election on April 2.

Petrone described the evening’s unfolding results as an emotional roller coaster but said she is ready to get back to work.

“I want to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who went out to vote,” she said. “Where we go from here is we continue to knock doors and meet more residents in Ward 3 and get everybody out to vote on April 2.

“I’m really proud of our campaign. We’ve kept it clean and we intend to do that in the future.”

Bailey said he too is looking forward to the runoff on April 2.

“I’m really happy that the voters of Ward 3 had good choices all the way around and I look forward to being able to campaign with Alison again for one more round,” he said.

Of the other winners Tuesday night, Bailey said “That’s a good group.”

Fellow Ward 3 candidate Patrick Ahern (134 votes — 5.35 percent) congratulated Clark and praised the election process.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with everyone who is passionate about city politics,” he said. “It’s opened my eyes to a new realm of issues that people are passionate about.”

On the runoff result he said “I never expected to be [Ralph] Nader, but here I am.”

In the Ward 1 race, Bierman defeated sole challenger Shon Williamson-Jennings, capturing 642 (63.25 percent) out of 1,015 votes.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the people who donated and volunteered their time to help me reach Ward 1 voters," Bierman said. "I appreciate Shon’s willingness to run and to serve and I appreciate the fact that the Ward 1 race stayed clean and positive. I think Shon has valuable perspectives on issues that don’t generate a lot of attention and I hope she chooses to serve the city in another capacity.” 

Williamson-Jennings (373 votes — 36.75 percent) said she appreciated the experience, calling it a blessing, and thanked her supporters.

“I just want to say ‘thank you’ to Norman and wish Kate good luck in her term,” she said.

Holman won the three-way Ward 7 race with 307 votes (53.67 percent), defeating challengers Kyle Hurley (154 votes — 26.92 percent) and Kimberly Blodgett (102 votes — 17.83 percent).

Hurley and Blodgett congratulated Holman, who now takes the mantle of the most experienced member on council as he prepares to enter his fourth term in office.

Holman said he appreciated Blodgett and Hurley for running positive campaigns and looks forward to continuing to serve Norman. 

“It’s a great story for a kid from the east side, raised by a single dad, going to Kennedy and Irving and Norman High,” he said. “I drive a 20-year-old truck, I don’t have a college degree, I work the door at The Deli two nights a week, and I’m now the most senior member of the city council of the third largest city in the state. It’s hard to believe.”

Hurley said he is a little disappointed in the result, but said he trusts the voters and is optimistic for Ward 7's future. 

“We’ve got a very seasoned council member who is absolutely dedicated to the betterment of Norman," he said. 

Blodgett and Hurley said they look forward to working with Holman on issues as Ward 7 residents.

“I felt we put forward a vision of bringing everyone to the table,” Blodgett said. “It didn’t work out and that’s OK. I appreciate the support I was given and congratulate Stephen on his victory.”

Ward 5 incumbent Sereta Wilson ran unopposed.

Mack Burke

mburke@normantranscript.com

follow me @mackburke4

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Mack Burke is an investigative reporter and award-winning feature writer and columnist for The Norman Transcript. An OU alumnus, he has lived in Norman since 2003.