In the Midwest City, mayoral primary challenger Matthew Dukes received 56 percent of the votes to current mayor Dee Collins' 35 percent.
But Collins is still the mayor of Midwest City.
That’s because of the way the city attorney interpreted the recall provisions of the city charter. So Dukes and current mayor Collins will now face off in a general election April 5.
“I’m extremely humbled,” Dukes said following Tuesday’s election.
Dukes accelerated his retirement from the Midwest City police department so he could run for mayor.
“I didn’t like what was taking place, and I saw some of the things that were taking place in City Council meetings, and I didn’t like the way people were being treated and that basically solidified by reason for getting in,” he said.
This is second mayoral election in Midwest City in less than a year. After a contentious battle between the police and fire unions and the City Council, opponents of Collins collected enough signatures to force the recall election.
Collins was not available for an on-camera interview but issued this statement:
“In a statement, Mayor Jay Dee Collins advised that he is disappointed in the results of the primary election held yesterday. He would like to thank all of his supporters for their hard work and commitment to his campaign. He feels that there has been a lot of progress in economic development and capital improvements in Midwest City since he took office a year ago. Under his leadership Midwest City has increased the quality of life for the citizens and visitors of the community. He is committed to continuing his service to the community and making sound decisions based on the available resources while considering the needs of all citizens.”
Still, based on Tuesday's election results, the incumbent mayor has some work to do to convince those citizens he's still the best man for the job.
“I’ve talked to hundreds of people over the last few months and (they say) we want someone in there that’s going to listen to us, and ‘you’d better or we’ll recall you’ and I said deal,” Collins said.
News 9 also spoke with the head of the firefighter's union who said the voters spoke with an overwhelming majority and they are ready for the all this to be over so the city can heal and get back to business.