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Shadid’s surge


Ed Shadid defeats Charlie Swinton in OKC’s Ward 2 runoff election

Clifton Adcock April 6th, 2011

Oklahoma City spinal surgeon Ed Shadid came out on top in Tuesday’s Ward 2 Oklahoma City Council runoff election.

edshadidvictoryPhoto/Michelle Hines

Shadid faced opponent Charlie Swinton, senior vice president and registered lobbyist for BancFirst, in the runoff for the council seat being vacated by outgoing Councilman Sam Bowman, who decided not to run for another term.

The runoff election was the result of the March 1 primary race, which featured six candidates in the Ward 2 election, but no majority. Three other races — wards 5, 6 and 8 — were decided that day.

Nonprofit groups able to conceal donor identity were heavily involved in the election.

One nonprofit, which donated to a political action committee backing challenging candidates in wards 6 and 8, was backed mostly by firefighters, although neither that group nor the PAC took part in the Ward 2 race.

Meanwhile, 527 political organization the Committee for Oklahoma City Momentum spent more than $400,000 on the election and took part in all four ward races, including the Ward 2 runoff. Momentum was backed by a nonprofit group, A Better Oklahoma City Inc., which in turn was funded by a Greater Oklahoma City Chamber initiative.

Momentum bought advertisements and sent mailers against Shadid during the runoff election, much as it had attacking Ward 5 incumbent Brian Walters, who lost his election to David Greenwell, the challenger backed by the group.

TURNOUT TURNAROUND
Shadid, whose campaign was largely self-financed, saw a major surge in support in yesterday’s election, more than doubling the total number of votes he received in March 1’s election, according to the Oklahoma County Election Board.

In the previous race, Swinton had received about 42 percent of the vote, and Shadid came in second with around 34 percent of the vote, or 1,461 votes total.

In Tuesday’s election, Shadid received 3,134 votes, or about 62 percent total, to Swinton’s 1,888 votes, or 38 percent.

The total number of voters in the Ward 2 runoff — 5,022 — also increased from the previous election, which counted 4,215 votes in Ward 2.

Shadid said he was glad to see the bigger turnout, something for which runoff elections aren’t normally known.

“Conventional wisdom says that never happens,” Shadid said. “If you look as far back as recent memory, every mayoral election, referendum, City Council election was decided by the side that spent the most money, without exception — until last night. It was a very activated grassroots effort that made that possible.”

Shadid, Greenwell,Ward 6 incumbent Meg Salyer and Ward 8 incumbent Pat Ryan all will be sworn into office at the 8:30 a.m. City Council meeting on April 12. All were backed by Momentum except for Shadid.

Mayor Mick Cornett congratulated Shadid at Tuesday night’s watch party at Café Nova.

photo State Sen. Andrew Rice, D-Oklahoma City, congratulates Ed Shadid on his victory. photo/Michelle Hines

 
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