Jack's back!

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As Winston Churchill said, "Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result."

I imagine Tulsa City Councilor Jack Henderson is feeling quite exhilarated tonight, as he has survived a very well-financed challenge, winning a third term with over 55% of the vote in District 1. All the candidates who filed for the office were Democrats, so Henderson is back in.

It's another defeat for the Tulsa Whirled editorial board, which endorsed Midtown-financed River Tax backer Emanuel Lewis.

Among other things, this means that we now know that at least four of the nine councilors will be familiar faces. Councilors Rick Westcott, John Eagleton, and Bill Martinson did not draw an opponent.

District 4 could be a very competitive race. Incumbent Democrat Maria Barnes won renomination handily, with 75%, and 2004 Republican nominee Eric Gomez received 65% of the vote. Although the district leans Democrat, and the incumbent will have an advantage, Gomez nearly beat incumbent Tom Baker four years ago.

In District 9, Phil Kates, who was unopposed for the Democratic nomination two years ago won today over Roger Lowry. Kates will face Republican nominee G. T. Bynum and independent candidate Paul Tay on April 1. District 9 is one of three districts (5 and 7 are the other two) that has never elected a Democratic councilor.

(Districts 1 and 3 have never elected Republicans, although District 3 councilor Darrell Gilbert was a Republican when he was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Mike Patrick. Gilbert changed parties, was defeated for re-election by David Patrick, then ran successfully for State House District 72.)

In two of the primaries there were three candidates, which meant there was a chance that someone could win without a majority since Tulsa city elections don't have runoffs, but that didn't happen.

Turnout was highest in the most competitive race -- 2,600 voters in District 1. The Democratic and Republican District 4 races brought out about 981 and 790 voters, respectively. Only 330 Democrats turned out in District 9. An aggressive and well-organized campaign -- I'm thinking of Anna Falling's 1998 run -- could have easily changed the outcomes.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on March 4, 2008 10:31 PM.

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