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April 21, 2013

Nonpartisan City Elections Put Spotlight on June 11 Primary

by Sheila
city hall sign

The new nonpartisan municipal election process makes it possible for a new mayor to be elected in the June 11 primary.

Under the nonpartisan municipal election process, approved by voters in November 2011, the process for voting for our city officials has changed. All candidates who file for the city office in question are on the same initial ballot, rather than in the past when there would have been political party primaries to determine what two candidates face one another on the general election ballot.

This year’s primary election is Tuesday, June 11. The five candidates who filed to run for mayor will be on that ballot. There are three possible scenarios to determine the next mayor. If one candidate receives a majority of the vote, at least 50% plus one vote, that candidate is elected mayor in the primary. If one candidate doesn’t receives 50% plus one vote, but two candidates combined receive at least 50% plus one those two candidates advance to the general election. If the two top candidates together do not receive at least 50% plus one vote, a runoff election will be held in August between as many candidates as necessary to make 50% plus one. The new term of office will begin in January 2014 no matter whether the candidate is elected in the primary, the runoff or the general election.

Only city offices are affected by this new nonpartisan election rule. County offices are not. There is a Republican primary on June 11 for Tulsa County Commissioner, District 3. The winner of that election will face a Democratic opponent in the November general election. If no candidate receives 50% plus one vote in the primary, there will be a Republican primary runoff election in August to determine which candidate proceeds to the general election.

The three city councilors up for re-election this year were re-elected by acclimation through the filing period as none drew a challenger. There names will not appear on any ballot this election cycle.

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