The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

December 7, 2012

Applaud all the hopefuls and incumbents for tossing hats into the political ring

Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Enid voters are guaranteed some new blood.

And the voters will have choices in three open city commission seats in February’s election.

Wards 3, 4 and 6 are open this year. Lewis Blackburn is the incumbent in Ward 3, Drew Ritchie is the Ward 4 commissioner, and Todd Ging is commissioner in Ward 6.

Blackburn and Ritchie said they will not seek new terms, and Ging is term-limited.

The races for Enid City Commission are:

• Ward 3, bankruptcy attorney Ben Ezzell is pitted against longtime city employee Eldon Stephens.

• Ward 4, farmer, rancher and Realtor Rodney Timm will face former city commissioner Loyd Kaufman.

• Ward 6, Joey Meibergen, executive vice president of W.B. Johnston Grain Co., is running against Integris Bass Baptist Health Center surgeon David Vanhooser and restaurateur Mickey De La Cruz, owner of Panevino Wine and Tapas Bar.

The election will be Feb. 12.

A runoff, if necessary in Ward 6, will be in May. New commissioners will take office that month.

Several school board races are on the ballot: Autry Technology Center, Zone 1, Leslie Clickner, incumbent; Chisholm Office 3, Jennifer Kisling, incumbent; Covington-Douglas Office 3, Ross W. Gregg, incumbent; Drummond, Office No. 3, Forrest Mann; Enid Office 1, Cheryl Patterson; Enid Office 3, Ernie Currier, incumbent; Enid Office 6, Kyle Whitehead, incumbent; Garber Office 3, Lee Schnaithman, incumbent; Kremlin-Hillsdale Office 3 seat, incumbent Kent Keithly will face Robbie Gray; Pioneer-Pleasant Vale Office 3, John Stone, incumbent; Waukomis Office 3, Joseph Vaverka.

We applaud these impressive candidates for throwing their hats in the ring.

We hope they keep a community-minded focus.

These candidates’ willingness to invest themselves must be balanced by a thick skin.

They will need to deal with being second-guessed on their decisions regarding taxpayer funds without taking it personally, and they need to respond with professionalism and civility.

Good luck.