McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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January 15, 2014

Konawa elects one newcomer, one incumbent

Konawa — Konawa voters elect one newcomer, one incumbent to council.

Konawa voters elected one newcomer to the Konawa City Council on Tuesday and kept one incumbent in office.

Retired construction manager Frank Shirley won his first term on the council by defeating incumbent LaTrelle Davis in the race for the Ward 3 seat, according to unofficial election results. Shirley picked up 56 votes, while Davis finished with 21.

Shirley said he was grateful for voters’ support.

“I’m real appreciative of everyone that supported me, and as a city we will move forward,” he said.

He said his goals for the city include attracting more businesses and encouraging families to settle in Konawa.

Another incumbent, James Blackwood, held onto his Ward 4 seat by defeating challenger Michael Tenney. Blackwood finished with 46 votes, while Tenney had 32.

Blackwood, who has served on the council since 2012, said he was pleased that voters supported his bid for another term.

“I’m just glad to be re-elected,” he said. “I see a lot of work to be done in the future, and I’ll be proud to be part of it.”

Blackwood said the city’s top priorities include installing a new sewer system and sewer lines and upgrading the water distribution system. He said city officials should also look at ways to recruit new businesses to Konawa and encourage families who have left town to consider returning.

Konawa voters narrowly approved a proposal to move city elections from the second Tuesday in January each year to the second Tuesday in February. Forty people voted for the proposition, and 32 voted against it.

With the change, Konawa will conform with other communities that hold city elections in February.

Reach Eric Swanson at

adanewsreporter@cableone.net.

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