DUNCAN, OK (KSWO) -Duncan residents are preparing to head to the polls next week to choose a new representative for the Duncan City Council.
Tommy Edwards, the Ward 3 incumbent, decided not to run for another term after serving nine years in office. The two candidates vying to replace him are Clyde Shaw and Patty Wininger.
Shaw retired from the City of Duncan in 2010 after serving more than 31 years in several capacities, including financial director and city manager. Wininger currently works at Duncan Regional Hospital where she were she holds several positions, including cardiac rehab nurse and emergency preparedness coordinator.
Shaw says Duncan is a good town and he wants to see it continue to thrive. As for Wininger, she says it's her time to contribute back to her city. Those are just a few of the reasons both candidates say they can get the job done.
Duncan native Clyde Shaw says his motivation for throwing his name into the ring was simple. On the last day a candidate could file to run for the Duncan City Council, no one had filed. So, he decided to do so.
"I went down there at four o'clock to check on it. Duncan is a better place than this. Somebody needs to show some interest in the community to improve the community, so I filed," Shaw said.
Patty Wininger also has a deep passion for the city of Duncan. Having put two children through the Duncan school system and as an active member of the community for more than 30 years, she's on a mission to make Duncan thrive.
"As a mother, a female and a nurse bringing a different perspective and adding to what's already here and helping go forward," Wininger said.
Both candidates agree moving forward means addressing two big issues; the city's finances and roads. Shaw says putting the right people in place to solve those problems is part of the fix.
"Council set the policy for the city manager and staff then to follow. The City Council is not daily operations of the city. You set the policy and leave it up to the manager to follow the policy," Shaw said.
Wininger says the healthcare field has taught her how to do more with less. She also believes in having the right person in the right position, but says that's just a small key to success.
"Sometimes you cannot do everything. So, you figure out what are the important things that cannot be let go and you fund those and you put the finances and dollars toward that," Wininger said.
At the end of the day, Wininger and Shaw say they want your vote. They say when casting your ballots, remember why they love Duncan.
"Just want people to be involved in their community. It's not just mine or anyone else on that council. The community is the entire citizenry. What do you want to see happen."
"So, you want to live your life so that when you've lived your life and you move on, what can they say about you? That you were able to leave and make better, because you were here."
If Shaw wins the council seat, he'll be coming out of retirement for a second run in city government. If Wininger wins, this will be her first time in the political arena.
Early voting started Thursday and will continue Friday at the Stephens County Courthouse from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Election Day is Tuesday, April 5.
You can learn more about other elections on April 5 here.