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Midwest City city council runoff election set for April 2

Ward 4 candidates Marc Thompson (Left) and Nicholas Timme (Right).

Ward 3 candidates Rita Maxwell (Left) and Jeff Moore (Right).

By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon

Voters in Midwest City will head to the polls again next week in a pair of runoff elections for city council on April 2.

Rita Maxwell and Jeff Moore are running in Ward 3, and Nicholas Timme and Marc Thompson are running for Ward 4.

The winner of the Ward 3 race will serve two years of the unexpired term. Megan Bain was elected to the seat in 2022 and resigned in June due to a potential conflict of interest between her employment with Mid-Del Technology Center and her duties as an elected official.

Candidates in Ward 4 are running for a four-year term. Current councilman Sean Reed did not seek reelection.

The four remaining candidates advanced to the general election after finishing in the top two of the Feb. 13 primary. It was a tight race at the top with Moore edging Maxwell by two votes in Ward 3, and Timme finishing one vote ahead of Thompson in Ward 4. None of them received more than 50% of the vote necessary to avoid a runoff.

Moore led the way in Ward 3 with 163 votes, while Maxwell was next with 161. The other four candidates drew a total of 203 votes in the primary.

Timme received 177 votes and Thompson had 176 in Ward 4. Charles Wallace was third with 34 votes.

Ward 3

Moore says he has a “solid 50% chance” to win the runoff and return to the city council.

“I think both races are going to be really tough and really tight,” he said. “It’ll be up to voters to decide if they want someone with common business sense or not.”

The developer served as the Ward 6 councilmember for two terms. He did not seek reelection in 2020.

Moore has been frustrated by city officials, especially in their handling of development and business issues. He wants the city to have a more hands off approach towards both commercial and residential development, while being more open with residents.

“I’ve gotten a lot of support and people calling wanting to know how to help,” he said. “Transparency is one of the top things they want. They want to know more about what’s going on ahead of time. They’re frustrated with the roads, even the new ones the city has put in. And they want more development on the east side of town.”

Moore has also been critical of the city’s proposal to create a development impact fee and raise utility rates to fund improvements to the sewer system on the east side of town. The city issued a moratorium on new development that would tie into the municipal sewer system, while still allowing construction that would use a septic or aerobic system.

Moore says the new development fee will stop development on the east side.

“I think builders and developers would be okay if the city came to all the major players and said we have a problem and we want to include you in taking care of the problem,” Moore said.

He says his experience and message has resonated with many residents.

“A lot of people are on the edge of moving out of Midwest City,” he said.

Maxwell said as a relatively unknown candidate in the race, she wasn’t sure what to expect in the primary. The results were positive as she finished second in the six-person race.

She credits that success to meeting face to face with voters. Maxwell walked the neighborhoods of Ward 3 twice before the primary election. And she put on her walking shoes again for another swing through the ward before the runoff.

“I do not know what else to do but knock and talk,” she said. “What I did worked before so I’m just trying to meet with as many people as possible.”

Maxwell said people are beginning to recognize her more and more.

“The conversations are getting longer because people want to talk,” she said.

She’s hoping for a good turnout on April 2.

“I hope I win. If people come out and vote I should be doing well,” she said. “Some people told me they missed the vote in the primary, and I told them that they get a second chance.”

Maxwell is a U.S. Air Force veteran and worked in the department of corrections and counseling. She was the first Black woman in many of her positions including as deputy warden of the Oklahoma State maximum security prison.

She has promised to be an advocate for residents and communicate their concerns with city officials.

Ward 4
Timme expected a close primary race last month but was disappointed in the overall voter turnout. He received the most support from residents in Country Estates and Holoway Park and Meadowood neighborhoods.

He’s predicting another tight race on April 2.

“I do think it will be close and we just need keep doing the work,” Timme said.
Timme and his team have continued to knock on doors and meet with residents. The top issues he’s hearing about include the mall, potential sewer rate increases to fund sewer upgrades on the east side, and Air Depot Blvd.

“If it’s not raining, I’m out walking every day,” he said. “We’re focused everywhere in Ward 4 and focused on voter engagement. A lot of people didn’t know there is a runoff election.”

Timme works as a company executive officer with the Oklahoma Army National Guard. He serves on the city’s traffic and safety commission, unity and diversity commission and capital improvement board, and is vice president of the Country Estates Neighborhood Association.

Thompson hopes election day goes much differently this time around. He said he believes several supporters thought the primary wouldn’t be close and did not vote. He said he’s been working hard to emphasize the importance of turning out on April 2.

“I assured them that we needed them to vote,” he said.

Thompson said he’s been sending out mailers and meeting with residents through popup tent events. He said several people have stopped by to show support and discuss issues.

“A lot of people stopped by, and I really enjoyed it,” he said. “It gave people a chance to discuss the issues.”

Some of the top issues include the future of the Heritage Park Mall, revitalization of Air Depot Blvd., the hospital district and the city’s efforts to fix sewer capacity issues on the east side.

Thompson remains optimistic about next week’s election.

“I do not believe it will be close and I’m very confident we’ll win.”

Thompson retired after a career in fundraising for non-profit organizations. He served on the Midwest City Parks and Recreation Board and is president of the Ridgecrest Neighborhood Association.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. on election day. Early voting will take place from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. on March 28 and 29 at the Oklahoma County Election Board.

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