3 candidates vie for Lawton Ward 1 seat - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

3 candidates vie for Lawton Ward 1 seat

LAWTON, Okla._Some Lawton voters will have more than just the mayor's race to decide on Tuesday.

Residents in both Ward 1 and Ward 2 will determine whether or not to change or keep their current council representative in office.

Bob Morford is the current seat holder for Ward 1 in Lawton. He will have to beat Andrew Hayes and Larry Walls on June 9 to retain that seat. Between the three of them, they say there is one thing that must be accomplished.

Last august, Lawton citizens approved a sales tax increase to spend $68.5 million on public safety. Ward 1 incumbent Morford says he would like to continue this tax to improve the Lawton Police Department.

"We wanted to raise the starting pay and such things on new officers, because we heard a lot of the people who want to be police will go to Oklahoma City or Moore," said Morford.

Larry Walls says his time working at the Comanche County Detention Center will help make sure the safety increases.

"I know what crimes are being committed, who is committing the crimes. I just feel that it's the time that people in Ward 1 get what they have been paying to get," said Walls.

Safety isn't the only issue in the minds of the candidates.

"We have to plan for water. Whether it's drilling wells or reusing what we have or even putting a new lake in," said Morford.

Walls says if he wins, he will make sure he isn't the only one heard.

"I'm strictly there to listen to the people and give the people what they want. I'm but one voice on a council that could try to effect positive change for them," said Walls.

Andrew Hayes, the third candidate in the race, was unavailable for an on-camera interview, but he said he'd like to increase the size of the council. He says the ratio of representatives to citizens doesn't represent each ward as well as it could. Hayes also noted that public safety was one of his primary concerns, and will work to make sure that remains one of the council's top priorities.

Thursday night on 7News at 6, we'll take a look at the Ward 2 council race between incumbent Keith Jackson and Mark Malone.

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