Dowdell, Miller win local races
After 16 years as mayor and 12 as a city councilman, Don Rodolph will be getting another voter-imposed break from Clinton’s city government.
Rodolph was defeated Tuesday in the only local council race on this month’s election calendar, losing his Ward 2 seat by 48 votes to political newcomer Ernie Dowdell. The winner received 353 votes (53.65 percent) versus 305 for the loser (46.35 percent).
In the other big local race Tuesday, Republican Lyle Miller of Clinton was reelected to a second term as county commissioner from District 3, polling 55.8 percent of the votes to 44.2 percent for Democrat Dale Ray of Butler. The actual count was 1,298 to 1,030.
At Weatherford, hometown boy Jeff Berrong, a Democrat, received only 44.8 percent of the votes in his bid for the District 38 Oklahoma State Senate seat. The other 55.2 percent of the Weatherford votes went to Republican Brent Howard of Lawton, who also led throughout the multicounty district and will replace Republican Mike Schulz, who was term-limited, as this district’s state senator.
District-wide, Howard won with 65.1 percent of the votes (13,873) to Berrong’s 34.9 percent (7,421).
Finally, in the battle for associate district judge between two Weatherford residents, Donna Dirickson soundly defeated Ricky McPhearson who had campaigned lightly. Dirickson received 71.9 percent of the votes (5,628) to McPhearson’s 28.1 (2,202).
Dirickson has served for 9 years as the county’s appointed special district judge while McPhearson has 24 years as an assistant district attorney.
In the Clinton council race, it was Dowdell’s first time to seek office. Rodolph had served two two-year terms as councilman from Ward 2 starting in 1984 before beginning an eight-term run as mayor in 1988. He lost the mayor’s seat to Lynn Norman in 2004, then won back the Ward 2 seat at the end of 2010 and had served since being sworn in at the first council meeting of 2011.
Dowdell will be sworn in Nov. 20 just before the next council meeting begins. Ward 2 generally comprises the northwest quarter of town.
Both the council race and the judge’s contest were non-partisan, meaning those candidates ran without stating a political affiliation.