In case you’ve been hibernating for the last months, Norfolk Municipal elections are this Tuesday, May 3. The office of mayor and two City Council seats are up for bids. Here’s everything you need to know to make an informed decision and cast your vote.
Our next mayor is guaranteed to have elected experience, even without incumbent Paul Fraim seeking to extend his 22-year tenure. Three sitting officials are running to replace him—State Sen. Kenny Alexander (D–5), Norfolk Sheriff Robert McCabe, and City Councilman Andrew Protogyrou. The two super ward incumbents up for election, meanwhile, face multiple challengers each.
While the super ward incumbents are seeking new terms, the city council is guaranteed at least one new member this year. Due to a requirement in the city’s charter regarding council elections, Protogyrou’s bid for mayor will automatically resign him from the council effective June 30, 2016.
Funding for public education and city police have risen to the forefront of the issues in the mayoral race. Concerns over government accountability have also hung over the election cycle, as former councilman and current City Treasurer Anthony Burfoot faces a recall petition.
City Council Super Wards 6 and 7 incumbents Barclay Winn and Angelia Williams Graves are seeking re-election. Andria McClellan and Warren Stewart are challenging Winn. Harry Candela, George “Billy” Cook Jr., and Kendrick Turner are challenging Graves.
Norfolk Public Schools is holding elections for its school board for the first time. A referendum in 2014 called for an elected board to replace the city council-appointed school board that led the district for over 60 years. Two of the seven seats on the school board are up for general election this year. Noelle Gabriel and Carter Smith are competing for the Superward 6 seat. Rodney Jordan is running unopposed for the seat in Superward 7.
Here are a few more helpful links:
- Alt Daily’s OKCandidate: find out which candidates for local office are a match for you.
- The City of Norfolk’s Office of Elections: all the whos, whats , whens and wheres you need to know to vote.
- The Races and the Candidates: AltDaily has put together this comprehensive resource of all candidates and links to their web sites.
Remember: if you don’t vote, you lose your voice for change.