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Race to the finish


Ward 1 City Councilman Gary Marrs squares off against challenger James Greiner in Tuesday’s runoff.

Tim Farley March 27th, 2013

Oklahoma City Councilman Gary Marrs isn’t taking anything for granted in the Tuesday runoff against challenger James Greiner.

James Greiner
Credit: Mark Hancock

In fact, Marrs — seeking his third full term representing Ward 1 — won’t let his friends, family or other supporters forget about the election, either.

“I had a number of people call and email me, assuming that I had it won and didn’t vote,” he said after the March 5 primary election.

Greiner, meanwhile, was energized by finishing first in that primary.

“The results were very encouraging,” he said. “Since I have not been involved in a political campaign before, the results also reassured me that we are doing things the right way.”

Greiner, a graphic design team leader at Hobby Lobby, said he supports hiring additional police officers and believes city officials shouldn’t take a lot of credit for the success of the MAPS 3 initiative.

“It gave the city the spark it needed to grow,” he wrote. “However, the real reason the city is where it is now is because of the Oklahoma City businesses and people that grew our economy.”

Marrs, a former OKC fire chief, finished second in the primary with 21 fewer votes than Greiner.

Carolyn Sims, a real estate agent who finished third in the primary, has endorsed Marrs.

“Not only has Gary done great things for our city, but he is also committed to our neighborhoods and will be a champion for us in the coming years,” she said.

Marrs has served on the council during a time when Oklahoma City has enjoyed the fruits of a bustling downtown redevelopment plan, passage of MAPS 3 and voter approval in 2007 of the city’s largest bond issue ever: $835 million for infrastructure improvements and economic development.

“We have good momentum and the right mix of economic development and public safety,” he said. “Our philosophy is to get new businesses coming in and get more people who can contribute to the overall tax base.” 

Although Greiner is a political novice, he said the door-to-door campaigning and his volunteer work at Covenant Community Church and the Council Oaks Neighborhood Association have helped him become more familiar with Ward 1.

Gary Marrs
Credit: Mark Hancock

“My top priority for this election is to get out and meet as many residents of Ward 1 that I can,” he said.

“Hearing their concerns and the issues that they care about has prepared me to represent them well on the city council.”

If re-elected, Marrs said he’ll advocate for more police officers, continued infrastructure improvements and helping define the city’s next general obligation bond issue.

Generally, Ward 1 wraps around Bethany, Warr Acres and Yukon. Its boundaries extend from Tulsa Avenue on the east to the city limits on the west, and from Reno Avenue north between N.W. 150th and N.W. 164th streets.

 
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