Signs of healthy political discourse are seen across Oklahoma City, where a total of 10 candidates are contending in three city council races.
For the open Ward 8 seat, three political newcomers are competing. This newspaper has no editorial preference among the contenders.
In Ward 6, incumbent Meg Salyer faces Dario Alvarado and Bob Waldrop. The leadership of The City Sentinel respects each of these individuals but makes no endorsement.
In Ward 2, The City Sentinel endorses incumbent Ed Shadid.
Dr. Shadid faces three opponents hoping to either defeat him outright or force an April 7 runoff. They are John Riley, James Cooper and Major L. Jemison.
Not much is known about Riley, while Cooper — a likable activist positioning himself as a “positive progressive” – could use a little more seasoning before assuming public office.
Pastor Jemison is a good man, a dedicated preacher and the respected sponsor of a fine school at St. John Missionary Baptist on the east side of our great city.
No doubt each of these challengers brings something positive to the table, and each of them is commended for running.
However, only one candidate has consistently and persistently raised concerns and asked reasonable questions about overuse of tax credits and special breaks for business. That one person is Ed Shadid.
Like David Dank in the state Legislature, Shadid is informed and passionate. He has kept his eyes on the prize, pressing to build a better place to live, and more equitable use of scarce taxpayer resources.
Some of us remember when Washington wags called U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn “Dr. No.” He earned that monicker for steady and unrelenting focus on debt and public spending. His inclination to vote no was a healthy counter to the spending mania in Washington.
During his tenure at the City Council, some have dubbed Ed Shadid “Mr. Negativity,” and in truth there have been times he was the only, or one of just a couple, opponents of one or another idea sustaining the concentration of resources on the downtown area, often at the expense of the rest of the city. His inclination to vote no on certain things forces needed clarity and focus in the process of city governance.
Yet, Shadid devotes herculean efforts to positive community-building, hosting forums that have engaged or re-engaged thousands of residents in policy development and debate.
Now, more than ever, the informed voice of the incumbent in Ward 2 is needed at City Hall. This is no sneering dismissal of others in the race, nor do we offer a single word of negativism about the other hopefuls. However, we are positive that Ed Shadid is the right one for the job.
City elections are, at least in theory, non-partisan. Citizens of these three wards should take the time to study the hopefuls and cast informed votes.
In Ward 2, The City Sentinel endorses Ed Shadid.