Harrah works to overcome divisive election
By Ryan Horton
Residents vote for three new city officials
Harrah has selected new city leadership following a divisive campaign cycle that included defamatory political mailers, hostile social media exchanges and the cancellation of public candidate forums following safety concerns.
The most contested Harrah municipal election in recent history resulted in voters selecting a new mayor and two City Councilmen.
Now residents and city officials alike hope emotions will calm allowing the community to reunite.
Paul Wiegert secured 57.43 percent of the vote in the race for Harrah City Council Ward 1, while Susan Morgan had 42.57 percent, 406-301. The seat was vacated by Kim Bishop.
In the Harrah City Council Ward 3 race, Chris Lally won over the incumbent Duane Patterson with 63.92 percent of the vote, 466-263.
In the Harrah mayor race, challenger Danny Trent defeated incumbent Larry Fryar with 69.44 percent of the ballots going his way, 509-224.
Fryar was thankful to the people for his longtime service, and wishes the new civic leadership luck facing shared challenges throughout the city.
“I want to thank the citizens of Harrah for the privilege of civic service these last 22 years. Harrah is my home; it’s needs and wants are personal to me. I have always endeavored to place this community as a whole in the forefront when making decisions for our town,” said Fryar. “We have something special here that not everyone can claim. And while we don’t always agree, or always have the same priorities we do all stay for the “something special” we get from our town. Our roots are deep and many can count back generations of their families living here. And although times change and progress happens, even during our dark days we all hunker down in place. This place. It remains my greatest desire to see Harrah thrive no matter what the future holds. And I will continue to stand for it’s good, like you, as just another citizen of this community we call home. I wish Danny, Chris and Paul wisdom and fortitude as they continue to carry the civic torch for Harrah.”
Patterson shared his thanks and hopes for the future of Harrah.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve my community and neighbors as an auxiliary police officer for several years, and as a City Councilman in Ward 1, as well as Ward 3 these last 21 years. I pray Harrah heal from this divisive campaign season, and move forward united,” said Patterson.
“As I put this chapter behind me and look forward to new opportunities with my family and those close to me, I wish Mr. Trent, Lally, and Wiegert in partnership with Tom Barron, and Cass Smith the very best as they take on the city’s ever-changing tide of new challenges.”
The new leadership takes their seats at the next City Council meeting.
“I want to thank everyone for their support and to commend Deke Patterson for his years of service. I look forward to being your councilman so we can continue moving Harrah forward,” noted Lally.
The Harrah City Council meets publicly the Third Monday of each month.
In Harrah the mayor and four city councilmembers are elected at large.
For more details visit cityofharrah.com
City Manager must be moving around money like he did in Sallisaw!!😡