Filing period opens Dec. 5 for city, county, school races

Mike Erwin |

During an upcoming three-day filing period, declarations of candidacy can be made for a multitude of city, county and school elections — including the Pawhuska City Council, Osage County Commission and the Pawhuska Board of Education.

Local filing begins Dec. 5, at at the Osage County Election Board office, 630 Kihekah Ave., and will continue on an 8 a.m- to-5 p.m. daily schedule Dec. 6-7.

Up for grabs on the 2017 municipal ballot in Pawhuska will be a three-year term for the at-large position on the Pawhuska City Council. A nonpartisan primary is scheduled for Feb. 14, with a general election (if necessary) being held April 4.

Cindy Tillman has been the Council’s member-at-large since 2010. Contacted last week, Tillman indicated that she was intending to file for re-election.

This year’s Pawhuska Board of Education election will involve a five-year term for School Board Office No. 2 — the office that is held by the Board of Education ‘s President Jeff Bute.

Other school board seats for which county election offiials will be accepting Declarations of Candidacy next month include a five-year term for the Barnsdall School District’s Seat No. 2, as well as two offices on the school boards of the Bowring and Wynona districts.

In Bowring, a three-year term is to be awarded the school district’s Office No. 1 in addition to a two-year unexpired term in Office 3.

Wynona Office No. 2 will award a new five-year term to Board Seat 2 and an unexpired three-year term for the Wynona Board’s Seat 5.

All of the county’s Board of Education positions are to come up for votes Feb. 14. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of all the votes cast, the two candidates with the highest number of votes will meet in an April 4 runoff.



Late in the evening on Election Night, Nov. 8, as ballots cast earlier in the day were still being counted, the Osage County Election Board office received a telephone call inquiring about results for a race that will not appear on the ballot until the county conducts its “next” election.

“The special election for District One (Osage) County Commissioner will be in February,” Election Board Secretary Conner told the caller. “A filing period for those candidates is next month, December 5th through the 7th.”

“Even though the filing period is almost four weeks away, two (District 1) candidates have already been putting out their (campaign) signs,” the election official said. “We’re probably going to get more calls from people wondering how the District 1 race came out.”

In accordance with Oklahoma laws, the District 1 vacancy created by Bob Jackson’s July 31 retirement required that a special election be called by Gov. Mary Fallin.

Conner said a special primary election for the District 1 Osage County Commission seat is to be held Tuesday, Feb. 14. The special general election will be April 4. However, if the special primary is not necessary, the special general election will be held on the earlier date of Feb. 14, Conner said.

Despite it being officially referred to as a “special filing period,” the dates and times for candidates to declare in the Osage County Commissioner’s race are identical to the three-day time period for filing in “regular” elections that are to be held for municipal government positions as well as school board races.

Early campaigning for the vacated seat on the commission has been by Democrat Jerry Howerton and Republican Randall Jones, who are from Pawhuska.

This would the fourth bid for the District 1 post by Jones, who had formerly served as road manager under Jackson’s predecessor on the commission. Clarence Brantley. Jones ran unsuccessfully against Brantley in 2010 and was defeated twice by Jackson. In 2014, Jones lost by a slim 45-vote margin out of more than 3,500 cast.

Persons wishing to declare as candidates can contact the Election Board for additional information. They can also obtain filing packets applicable to their candidacies. Declaration of Candidacy forms can be downloaded at the Oklahoma State Election Board website:

The telephone number for the Osage County Election Board Office is (918) 287-3036.