Two races deserve special attention 

Two candidates for public office who live in Oklahoma City are involved in races in the Tuesday election that deserve special attention for differing reasons.

The first is Meg Salyer, who is a candidate for Oklahoma City's Ward 6 City Council seat. When the filing closed for the Ward 6 seat, three candidates had filed. One withdrew soon after the filing closed and the other withdrew later due to a family matter, but after the ballots had been printed.

Meg remains the only de facto candidate in the race. However, if the other person on the ballot should get more votes, he would be the winner of the election and could accept the office. That leaves Meg with only one option, to continue campaigning and make sure her supporters make the effort to vote for her.

Ward 6 is the smallest city ward in size, extending from N.W. 23rd to S.W. 44th and from Portland to Robinson, with the exception of a notch in the southwest corner formed by May and S.W. 29th. It is the most demographically diverse ward in the city.

Meg is the perfect person to replace Ann Simank as representative of Ward 6. Meg's experience as a civic leader and her personal involvement and dedication in making Oklahoma City a better place for all its citizen are hard, if not impossible, to match.

She is committed to openness and transparency in government and will work for keeping all processes and decision-making open and fair. She has the ability to communicate with all our citizens whether they're in a three-room house or a 35-story office building, both of which can be found in Ward 6.

Don't let oversight or apathy keep Meg from being elected to the City Council. The entire city will benefit from her incredible qualifications for public service. So if you live in Ward 6, cast your vote for her at the top of the pink municipal ballot to make sure she is elected.

The second race that needs the special attention of Gazette readers is the Oklahoma Corporation Commission race between Jim Roth and Dana Murphy. We're all aware of Jim's outstanding service as an Oklahoma County commissioner.

Appointed by Gov. Brad Henry to the corporation commission last year, he demonstrates a quickness to grasp the issues that come before it. The commission is mostly regulatory in nature and requires a good commissioner to have a solid commitment to the public interest and a high degree of integrity.

While Jim has demonstrated those qualities while serving as both county and corporation commissioner, his opponent has made her career in the industry she seeks to regulate and has not been tested in the public arena.

It is now unfortunate that a major factor in the corporation commission election is a stealth smear campaign being waged over a personal issue that has no relevance to a person's qualifications to serve as a corporation commissioner.

What makes it more sinister is that our election laws permit this type of shady campaigning to occur in virtual anonymity and under the guise of voter education without endorsement for or against a candidate.

We urge our readers to vote for the candidate who can best serve the interests of Oklahoma citizens on the corporation commission. Jim has proven ability and trustworthiness. He has earned and deserves your vote.

Bleakley is publisher of Oklahoma Gazette.

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