MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

April 7, 2010

Mayor stays, the rest go

Hammons re-elected by 52 percent of vote

Any nerves Muskogee Mayor John Tyler Hammons had in the weeks before his re-election watch party Tuesday night disappeared as results came in.

His emotions turned to elation when he announced that his closest challenger, Bob Coburn, had just called him to concede defeat.

Hammons, 21, easily won re-election with 2,531 votes, or 51.42 percent. Bob Coburn received 1,447 votes, or 29.4 percent. Chris James received 887 votes, 17.82 percent and Teresa Garris, 67 votes, or 1.36 percent.

Immediately after reporting Coburn’s call, Hammons hugged supporters and kissed his girlfriend. However, he waited until more official results came in before making a victory speech.

“Thank you so much for coming out to vote; it meant all the world to me, ” he told several dozen supporters at his watch party at Cowboys Bar-B-Q. “I got a wonderful support group.”

Coburn, who missed getting into a runoff with Hammons by 130 votes, said he will work with Hammons in any way he can.

“John Tyler Hammons is a very intelligent young man,” Coburn said in a concession speech to his supporters. “We've got to get the council together to work with him instead of pulling in nine different directions.”

Coburn encouraged his supporters to continue to work toward more effective government at the local, state and federal level by applying business logic to government operations.

He said Muskogee needs to work on rebuilding its self-image in order to pull everything together and present a package that will make people want to move here.

And, even though Chris James came in third, he was in good spirits.

“I’m still looking for those 2,000 people who said they voted for me today,” he said to a roomful of fans at the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

James said he and his supporters would support Muskogee, local businesses, “and we’re going to support our mayor.”

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