Local businessman Steve Tolson on Feb. 11 led a four-candidate field in a primary election vote for the at-large seat on the Pawhuska City Council.
Tolson received 204 votes, while incumbent Councilor Rodger Milleson ran second with 107 votes, Amber Nash recieved 89 votes and Byron Cowan received 26.
Since Tolson did not receive at least 50% plus one, he and Milleson will be on the ballot April 7 in a general election to decide the winner. Tolson’s percentage of the vote Feb. 11 was 47.89. Milleson’s was 25.12. Both are businessmen and natives of Pawhuska, who played high school football together.
Tolson is in the real estate and insurance businesses. Milleson has an oil field services company.
“I just figured I would get a little closer than I did,” Milleson said of the election results. “It’s not going to be the end of the world, either way.”
Milleson said he figured he’d have to work harder before the general election to attract voters.
“I just have to get out and work a little bit harder, ” he said. “I’ve already been pressing the flesh everywhere I go.”
Tolson said he was pleased with the outcome, but not ready to relax.
“It was a good run. I’m very appreciative of the people who got out and voted for me,” he said. “It’s always encouraging to be in the lead, per se, but you don’t want to take anything for granted.”
Tolson has said he is running for council this time because he finally has the chance to do so, and that he would bring his business acumen to public service. Milleson has described himself as the representative of citizens who might otherwise be overlooked.
The Pawhuska City Council is a five-member body. Just one seat — the at-large seat— is up for determination now.