Voters turn out in frigid temps to select school board member, city councilors

Robert Smith
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

Pawhuska voters Feb. 9 turned out in sub-freezing weather to cast ballots in three City Council elections and one education board election.

Justin Turney won a seat on the Pawhuska Board of Education, receiving 280 votes, as opposed to 137 votes for Shannon Shaw Duty and 59 votes for Lyndell R. Malone. Since Turney received a majority of the vote, there will be no general election matchup.

In the Ward 3 council race, incumbent Mark Buchanan defeated newcomer Dhruti Patel, 272-121.

In the Ward 4 council race, Rodger Milleson defeated Carrie Ann Watters, 238-151.

In the Ward 2 council race, Susan Bayro was the leader with 192 votes, which was 48.73 percent of votes cast. Amber Nash was second with 126 votes. Bruce Malone was third with 76 votes.

Bayro and Nash will meet in the April 6 general election.

Buchanan and Milleson won new three-year council terms, to begin in May. Nash and Bayro are competing to serve the unexpired portion of a council term that former councilor Jourdan Foran won in April 2019.

Turney has won a five-year board of education term. He will succeed outgoing school trustee Mike Tolson, who did not seek re-election.

Buchanan, pastor at Pawhuska Bible Church, first won election to the City Council in 2003 and has been a member of the panel ever since.

Milleson, owner of Milleson Oilfield Service, previously served as the at-large member of the City Council. He ran for re-election to that seat in 2020, but lost in the general election to downtown Pawhuska businessman Steve Tolson, of the Tolson Agency.

Milleson ran for the Ward 4 seat this year, after incumbent councilor John Brazee decided not to seek re-election. Brazee's decision was the result of a potential legal challenge by Carrie Ann Watters regarding Brazee's residency status. Brazee said he could not afford to pay to fight the potential legal challenge.

Bayro is a strategic planning analyst for the Osage Nation. Nash is retired from the USDA-Osage County Farm Service Agency, where she worked for 28 years.