Candidates Raise Profile Of Oklahoma City Council Race

Monday, February 28th 2011, 3:33 pm
By: News 9

Jennifer Pierce, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma City voters head to the polls Tuesday for city council elections, and the race in Ward 6 has gained the most attention because of two of the candidates.

Three candidates are running for the position: Incumbent Councilwoman Meg Salyer, 21-year-old Jessica Holstein, and Baptist church music director Adrian Van Manen. The two newcomers have faced a race marred with controversy.

Holstein, a University of Central Oklahoma student, has had to defend racy Myspace photos recently published by a local newspaper and on the Internet.

"Everyone has skeletons in their closet," said Holstein. "That was several years ago and I was young." Holstein said she doesn't think the pictures will hurt her chances at winning the seat. She also said she already feels like a winner because she is running at such a young age.

Her challenger, Van Manen, worked as music director at Windsor Hills Baptist Church. The church has acted as a staunch supporter of gun rights and trained youth in firearms. Van Manen, a Tea Party supporter, defended his church, saying he's just a regular citizen trying to shake things up.

"Voters are smart. They know that our church does has nothing to do with city decisions," Van Manen said.

But the Incumbent candidate, Meg Salyer, said the only agenda, if she is re-elected, will be to take Oklahoma City in a new direction.

"Building neighborhoods, economic development, seeing commercial revitalization happening in neighborhoods, working on education," Salyer said. "I believe I have an awful lot of experience in the area."

The polls open Tuesday at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.