By D.E. Smoot
Phoenix Staff Writer
Election officials will begin processing declarations of candidacies Monday for 13 municipal elections scheduled April 2 at towns and cities throughout the surrounding area.
The three-day filing period for nonpartisan municipal elections begins Monday and will continue through Feb. 6. Declarations of candidacies must be filed at the election board office in the county where the polling will take place.
Muskogee County Election Board Secretary Kelly Beach said there are no fees assessed for declarations filed in the upcoming municipal elections. However, prospective candidates must meet certain eligibility requirements.
State law requires candidates to be registered voters “at an address (located) within the municipality, or of the ward where the office is from a ward, for at least six months prior to filing a declaration of candidacy.” Filing a declaration of candidacy in a nonpartisan municipal election has no effect upon a filer’s party affiliation.
Beach, who began his tenure as county election board secretary earlier this month with only one staffer, said he is settling in to his new position and learning the ropes.
“We are setting up our machines for the upcoming school board elections today and getting ready for the filing period that begins next week,” Beach said. “Municipal elections are just as important as the county, state and federal elections. I encourage everyone to go to the polls in April and vote for your candidate.”
Beach said seven municipalities will conduct elections April 2 in Muskogee County. Wagoner County election officials said resolutions have been filed by officials in Wagoner, Okay and Porter to conduct elections there. Two municipal elections are on tap in McIntosh County — at Checotah and Eufaula. Cherokee County officials said municipal elections are scheduled for the town of Hulbert.
Towns and cities of local interest where municipal elections will be conducted April 2 and the positions that will be placed on the ballots include the following:
• Town of Braggs: One at-large trustee for a four-year term and a four-year term for the combined position of town clerk and treasurer.
• Town of Fort Gibson: Ward 2 and Ward 4 trustees, both of which are four-year terms, and a four-year term for town treasurer.
• Town of Haskell: Ward 2 and Ward 4 trustees, both of which are four-year terms.
• Town of Porum: Three at-large trustee positions, all of which are four-year terms.
• Town of Taft: Three at-large trustee positions with four-year terms, two trustee positions for two-year terms, town treasurer for a two-year term, and a four-year term for town clerk.
• Town of Warner: One at-large trustee for a four-year term and one at-large trustee for a two-year term.
• Town of Webbers Falls: Two at-large trustee positions, both of which are four-year terms, and the combined position of town clerk and treasurer for a four-year term.
• Town of Okay: Three at-large trustee positions, all of which are four-year terms.
• Town of Porter: Two at-large trustee positions, both of which are four-year terms, and one trustee position to serve two years of an unexpired term.
• City of Wagoner: One city council position in each of the city’s four wards, all of which are four-year terms, an unexpired term of two years for one Ward 2 council seat, and town treasurer, who will serve a four-year term.
• City of Checotah: One city council position in each of the city’s four wards, all of which are four-year terms, an unexpired term of two years for one Ward 4 seat, a four-year term for city treasurer, and a two-year term for city clerk.
• City of Eufaula: Once city council position in each of the city’s four wards, all of which are four-year terms, two unexpired terms of two years in Wards 2 and 3, and a four-year term for the combined position of city clerk and treasurer.
• Town of Hulbert: One trustee position in Ward 1 and another in Ward 3, both of which are four-year terms.
Election officials said declarations may be filed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning Monday and ending Feb. 6 in the appropriate counties. Challenges or candidate contests must be filed before 5 p.m. Feb. 8.
Reach D.E. Smoot at (918) 684-2901 or firstname.lastname@example.org.