By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Mayor Matt Dukes this week announced his plans to run for re-election.
He is the first mayoral candidate to put his hat in the race. The election is scheduled for next spring. Candidates must begin filing in December. The primary and general elections would be in February and April, respectively. The election will also include races for City Council seats in Ward 1, 3 and 5.
“There is a lot happening in Midwest City that will enhance the quality of life for every citizen. But we are not done. I want to continue to work to make Midwest City a better place for everyone.
After lots of prayer and consultation with my family, I am officially announcing my re-election campaign for Mayor of Midwest City. I feel like we can accomplish a lot together,” Dukes said in a statement Sunday evening.
Dukes says he strives to be both accessible and accountable. He regularly meets with citizens during a monthly morning coffee at The Underground and before city council meetings, along with other regular events.
“Over the course of the last 19 months, I have addressed every request I have received from all of you,” he said in a statement. “I take that very seriously. Sometimes the answer is not what you may want to hear, but I do get an answer and try to work out the issues as best as I can.”
Since taking office, Dukes has written and subsequently passed two ordinances dealing with public safety and consumer protection. One required convenience store owners to improve visibility of their stores form the outside, in an effort to combat robberies and assaults. The second ordinance, requires roofing contractors to register with the city for all commercial and residential jobs.
Dukes was elected in February 2016 following a recall of former Mayor Jay Dee Collins. Dukes finished first in a four-way primary race that also included Charles Thompson and Mark DeShazo. Collins later withdrew from the election after drawing just 35 percent of the primary vote.
Dukes is serving the remaining two years of the term, which was originally won by Jack Fry in spring of 2014. Fry won the seat after running unopposed. Fry later won election to the State Senate. Collins served as interim mayor and won a special election in February 2015.
Before running for public office, Dukes served the community as a police officer for 31 years. He also served five years in the U.S. Coast Guard and 24 years with the Oklahoma Air National Guard.