Due To Unique Charter, Late Edmond Mayor Moves On To General Election
EDMOND, Oklahoma - Former Edmond Mayor Charles Lamb, who passed away last December, received enough votes Tuesday night to move on to the general election.
Lamb received 33 percent of the vote.
First place vote-getter Dan O'Neil received 56 percent.
Due to a unique city charter, the top two vote-getters move onto the general election, even if one of the candidates gets more than 51 percent of the vote in the primary.
At least a third of voters seem to believe Lamb needed to be on that ballot.
Lamb, Edmond's popular mayor, had filed to run for re-election, but just a week later he unexpectedly passed away.
“This is the first time, to my knowledge, where someone died in office while the campaign was going on,” said Nick Massey, current council member. “That throws a whole new wrinkle in things.”
The deadline to run for mayor had already closed, meaning it was too late for Lamb's supporters to file, leaving only those who opposed him on the ballot.
So, the Facebook campaign “Vote For Charles” was launched, urging voters to elect Lamb Mayor and allow the city council to appoint someone to his seat.
“It’s being promoted by people who have other political interests in mind and their own agenda,” said O’Neil.
O'Neil, who received a majority of votes Tuesday night, said that's not how Democracy is supposed to work.
“It’s really an effort to take a vote away from the people,” he said. “It gives us an opportunity to talk when you have campaigns.”
But Massey argues it’s just the opposite.
“So now people have a choice,” he said. “And if you like Dan, all means vote for Dan. And if you don’t, at least you have a choice.”
The city will not have pay for an election just for mayor, because there are other city council seats that have to be decided.