Emphasis on downtown Oklahoma City development takes a hit in election, council member says

By William Crum

A perception that elected leaders care more about downtown development than neighborhoods may have cost two veteran Oklahoma City Council members their seats.

Voters on Tuesday chose James Greiner, 32, over Gary Marrs in northwest Oklahoma City’s Ward 1, while John A. Pettis Jr., 30, beat Ronald “Skip” Kelly in northeast’s Ward 7.

Results in both runoff races were decisive. Greiner won 57.1 percent of the vote against a three-term incumbent; Pettis won 61.7 percent to defeat Kelly, who served two terms.

The $777 million, 10-year MAPS 3 construction program is heavily weighted toward downtown, and residents in outlying areas wonder “when is some of this going to trickle out to us,” said Pete White, who represents southeast’s Ward 4 on the council.

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