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Davis, Chapman in runoff for Council

Ward 3 Councilman Caleb Davis is heading to a runoff with challenger Linda Chapman, following the results of Tuesday’s primary election.

None of the four candidates seeking the Ward 3 seat won the 50 percent plus one necessary for an outright win, although Chapman missed that goal by less than 4 percent. That means the top two winners — Chapman and Davis — will proceed to a runoff on Nov. 12.

According to the State Election Board, Chapman won 265 votes, or 46.09 percent of the 575 cast in the Ward 3 race. Davis, who is seeking his second term, won 173 votes, or 30.09 percent of the total. Donna Mata, a retired City of Lawton municipal court clerk, won 90 votes, or 15.65 percent, while Derek Berry, a one-time city field utilities worker and retired Goodyear employee, won 47 votes, or 8.17 percent.

The Ward 3 race has been notable because it is the only one of the three council seats up for election this year that drew a race, but also because Davis is facing a felony embezzlement charge. Initially, he was charged with one misdemeanor count of embezzling $6,000 through the on-line “Think Lawton” group, but that charge was upgraded to a felony count last week. Davis, who is identified as the group’s administrator and moderator, will return to court Sept. 26 for his preliminary hearing conference. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until the prosecution proves his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Lawton’s city charter specifies that anyone convicted of a misdemeanor involving embezzlement or any felony, or who has entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to those counts, is ineligible to be elected to or appointed to the council or as mayor. If such people already are holding office, they will be removed from office immediately, when the case has been determined.

The Lawton Constitution

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