The Pryor Times

November 8, 2012

LG tax passes; county tax fails

Mullin wins District 2

Staff Writer
Ted King

— Mayes County voters rejected a three eighths of a percent sales tax increase for the improvement of county roads.

County Commissioners Alva Martin Darrell Yoder and Ryan Ball pushed for passage of this proposition. Pryor Mayor Jimmy Tramel and retired local merchant Ivan Pace were against the measure as it would raise sales taxes. The no vote was 8,207 or 59.7 percent to the yes vote at 5,536 or 40.3 percent.

“I didn’t think it would pass,” Tramel said. He suggested that the country commissioners propose a hotel/motel tax for county roads. “We raise $87,000 a year in Pryor based on a five percent hotel/motel tax,” Tramel said.

Retired jeweler Pace said that he has voted for all sales tax increases except this one. “Ten percent is a scary number” Pace said. Pryor ‘s sales tax would have increased to 10 percent had voters approved the proposal. “We are not very business friendly here,” Pace said.

Locust Grove voters approved extension of a one percent sales tax that was set to expire. The vote was 236, or 58.6 percent, to 167 or 41.4 percent. The money will go to town roads, bridges, police and fire departments.

Republican Markwayne Mullin of Westvile was elected to Congress Tuesday to represent the second district, replacing Rep. Dan Boren, the lone Democrat from the Oklahoma delegation. The vote was Mullin 143,517, or 57.3 percent, to 95,931 or 38.3 percent for Democrat Rob Wallace of Fort Gibson. Independent Michael Fulks, who lives near Poteau, received 10,809 votes or 4.3 percent.

Mayes County voters chose Mullin 9,018, or 62.4 percent, to Wallace 4,854 or 33.6 percent. Independent Fulks received 574 or four percent.

Mullin’s watch party was a standing room only event held at Kilharen’s Lodge west of Muskogee. The Republican crowd was excited as the numbers came in for Mullin but were otherwise subdued as they watched the national election numbers.

“Well, this is the beginning,” Mullin said in his acceptance speach. He introduced his wife and three children. He thanked his family who he said sacrificed the most through the campaign.

Mullin told about a time he asked one of his son’s if he knew why his dad was running for congress. His son replied, “I know daddy, so we don’t have to live in China.”

Mullin said he believes that Washington is full of people who see politics as a career. He vowed to serve three terms if re-elected. He asked the crowd to pray for his family.

“You guys are just as fed up as I am. We know what America can be; we’ve seen it. Are we willing to do the work and take the time to bring it back to have a brighter future?” Mullin said.

At Rob Wallace’s watch party, held at Hamlin’s El Toro Mexican restaurant in Muskogee, Wallace graciously said “If I ran the perfect campaign and God didn’t want me in that position, I wouldn’t win anyway. Markwayne Mullin is my congressman now. He’s going to need all the help he can muster and I wish him God’s speed.”

Republicans kept control of the House and Democrats  kept control of the Senate. Republicans won all five Oklahoma congressional elections.

Republican Wayne Shaw of Grove was elected to state senate district three with 13,383 votes, or 54.3 percent, to Democrat Jim Bynum of Tahlequah at 11,262 or 45.7 percent. Mayes County voters chose Shaw 1,887 or 57.2 percent to Bynum 1,397 or 42.8 percent.

This seat  was open because incumbent Democrat Jim Wilson was term-limited. District three covers the southern part of Mayes County including Chouteau, Mazie and Locust Grove.

Mayes County voters retained all the state supreme court justices and criminal  and civil court of appeals judges. Statewide all the judges were retained.

State-wide all six state questions passed.

State Question 758, limiting property tax increases to three percent a year, passed in Mayes County 8,788 or 63.2 percent to 5,107 or 36.8 percent. This applies to homestead properties. Should voters approve a future bond property tax rates would go up beyond three percent.

State Question 759, eliminating affirmative action (the mandated hiring of minority groups), passed in Mayes County 7,640 or 55.4 percent to 6,157 or 44.6 percent.

This applies to state hiring and does not apply to federal mandates.

State Question 762 taking the governor out of the parole process for non-violent offenders passed 8,087 or 58.6 percent to 5,714 or 41.4 percent.

State Question 764, allowing the State Water Resources Board to expand lending to communities for the improvement of water and sewer projects, failed in Mayes County but passed state wide. The no vote was 7,147 or 52.2 percent to the yes vote of 6,536 or 47.8 percent.

State Question 765, eliminating the state department of Human Services and reorganizing it under the legislature, passed 7,845 or 57.1 percent to 5,906 or 42.9 percent.

State Question 766, eliminating taxes on intangible property, i.e. law degree, mineral rights, and other intangibles, passed 8,217 or 59.1 percent to 5,687 or 40.9 percent.  

President Barack Obama was elected to a second term  over Republican rival Mitt Romney.

Oklahoma voted for Republican challenger Romney 889,710, or 66.8 percent. Obama received 442,787 or 33.2 of the vote in the Sooner State.

In Mayes County voters chose Romney over Obama 9,634, or 66.6 percent, to 4,822 or 33.4 percent.

Obama was re-elected with 60,085,524 to Governor Romney’s 57,401,992. The electoral college vote was 332 to 206. When people vote for president they are voting for a representative of the candidate called electors to cast the state’s votes for the candidate. Oklahoma elected Republican electors to cast their ballots officially in December.