Of all of our endorsements this municipal election season, this by far was our toughest to make. So before we announce who we have selected to endorse for Norman mayor, we want to address the citizens of Norman as a whole.
First, you should be commended for having two outstanding conservative mayoral candidates to take on the Marxist Mayor Clark. We thoroughly enjoyed the time we got to spend getting to know both Larry Heikkila and Dr. Nicole Kish. Both are outstanding Normanites, with a passion and love for making Norman a better city than it currently is.
One of the frequent concerns mentioned by conservatives in Norman is that having two strong conservative candidates would split the vote and guarantee Mayor Clark wins re-election. However, Norman’s city charter is similar to Oklahoma City in that it requires candidates to get at least 51% of the vote during primary elections in order to win outright. Given the overly crowded field in this year’s primary, it is highly likely that the race will go to a runoff.
The reality is that whichever candidate ends up facing Mayor Clark deserves the full support and backing of every conservative in Norman, and every conservative organization in the metro area.
The absolute worst thing that could happen next Tuesday is for conservatives to not show up to the polls. The best thing that could happen, assuming there is a runoff, or for Mayor Clark to be eliminated in the primaries. That could only happen if conservatives show up and vote like their life depended on it…because given Clark’s anti-police agenda and neglect for the Norman Fire Department, it very likely does.
Our standards for endorsement
As mentioned in our article endorsing Carol Hefner for OKC Mayor, we laid out our standards for choosing candidates to endorse. In that article, we said:
By OKC Charter, the mayor is paid part-time; however, it has more than full-time hours associated with it. In order for this city to get back on track, it is critical that we elect a mayor that is fully prepared to actually do the job from day one. There is no time for a learning curve. Holt’s vast reach and influence in this city spreads far beyond just the mayor’s office. It extends down to the numerous city commissions and boards that he has appointed members to in order to fulfil his vision of this city. It extends to “working groups” designed to redesign the OKCPD after the image of the San Francisco and Seattle police departments. It is seen in the massive overhaul of our charter that his select committee oversaw. Holt’s agenda has affected, or infected, every single aspect of this city’s government, and not for the better.”
The same holds true for Norman, perhaps even more so. The OKC Mayor is paid $24,000 per year. According to the Norman Transcript, the Norman Mayor is only paid about $100 per month. That’s not even part-time. Given the current price of gas, the mayor would literally have to shell out money from their own pocket to meet their obligations as mayor.
Norman is in far worse shape than Oklahoma City. The OKCPD were never defunded. In fact, the OKCPD received an increase in their budget in 2021. As bad as the problem are in OKC, Norman is in infinitely worse shape. As such, there’s even less room for a learning curve for the next mayor if they’re going to help reverse the damage done by Clark.
Because of this, we must take into consideration the depth of experience and expertise of the two conservative candidates when it comes to the city’s affairs. As Bradley Carter (OKC Ward 1) and Barbara Young (OKC Ward 3) taught us, regardless of how well-prepared you are for the job, it is literally like learning from a fire hose from day one.
It was these reasons why the Norman PD FOP reversed their decision to endorse Clark and chose instead to endorse Heikkila. In an article published in the Norman Transcript, Norman FOP President Robert Wasoski said of their endorsement decision:
We feel that he represents the vision and the direction that will take Norman in the right place moving forward and he’s best for the city. He is certainly a law enforcement advocate, as is Dr. Kish, and we know that. What we thought overall, from the various forums and debates, is that he is the candidate that we want to support and try to get elected as mayor. He knows and has been involved in Norman government for a while, and that will help him with a seamless transition, if elected.”
We concur with Mr. Wasoski.
Given the critical condition of basic city services and infrastructure, it is clear to us that Larry Heikkila is the best prepared, best qualified candidate to bring about the much-needed change in the shortest amount of time.
Norman is far from an after-thought in the metro area. It is truly the Gateway to the “Crossroads of America”. If we want to see the OKC Metro area blossom into the shining city on a hill that it can be, then all of the residents of the area need to see Norman turn around in the shortest time possible.
The best and most effective way to do that is for conservatives to unite behind Larry Heikilla and deliver a him resounding victory next Tuesday.