Candidates declare for council, school seats

Robert Smith
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

Candidates filed declarations last week to run for three Pawhuska City Council seats and one seat on the Pawhuska Board of Education.

All four seats drew at least two candidates, which means the Feb. 9 primary election ballot should be of considerable interest to Pawhuska voters.

The Pawhuska Board of Education seat up for grabs is Position No. 1, which has been held the past five years by Mike Tolson. He is not seeking re-election. The winner will be called on to serve a full, five-year term.

Candidates who have declared for the position are Shannon Shaw Duty of Osage News; Lyndell Malone of Osage Laundry; and Pastor Justin Turney of First Baptist Church. If none of the three candidates wins at least 50 percent of the vote plus one on Feb. 9, the two top finishers in the primary will meet in the general election.

The Pawhuska City Council seats to be contested are for Ward 2, Ward 3 and Ward 4. Councilwoman Jourdan Foran has vacated the Ward 2 seat because of a change of residency (she moved to Bartlesville). The unexpired portion of her term will be on the ballot.

Candidates who declared for the Ward 2 seat include Susan Bayro, Bruce Malone and Amber Nash. If none of the three wins a majority of the vote on Feb. 9, the two top finishers will meet in the April 6 general election.

Candidates who declared for the Ward 3 seat include incumbent Mark Buchanan and Dhruti Patel. This contest should be resolved Feb. 9. At issue is a full, three-year term.

Candidates who declared for the Ward 4 seat are Rodger Milleson and Carrie Ann Watters. This contest also should be resolved Feb. 9. At issue is a full, three-year term on the City Council. Incumbent councilor John Brazee did not file to seek re-election.

Pawhuska voters should mark Feb. 9 on their calendars as a key date for local government elections. Depending on what happens Feb. 9, they may need to mark April 6. They should not, however, forget about Jan. 12, 2021.

Jan. 12 is the day of a sales tax referendum, in regard to Pawhuska Hospital's request for a 1 cent sales tax to support its operations. Hospital officials told the City Council that the 25-bed, nonprofit hospital needs the additional income to create financial flexibility and to demonstrate community buy-in to its long-term financial stability.