Ponca City Mayor Homer Nicholson is seeking a fifth term in office when Ponca City goes to vote today, Tuesday. It was only in his first election when Nicholson faced opposition from another candidate. He was elected by an 85 percent margin of victory over his opponent in 2007 before serving his first term. While he does technically have a challenger in 2019, Nicholson was once again unopposed at the Mayor’s Candidate Forum hosted by the Ponca City Chamber of Commerce in the Commission Chamber at City Hall on Friday.
Local resident Fred McCullough did file back in December to run for office, but McCullough did not appear at the forum. Sources suggested that McCullough attempted to withdraw his candidacy, but this was after the deadline to do so. Homer Nicholson took to the podium to speak. He then chuckled from the gallery when saying that although Chamber President Rich Cantillion had told him that he would have 30 minutes to speak. Laughter followed after Nicholson said that he guessed he would then have an hour to speak with a lot of things to talk about.
Nicholson went on to list improvements in City infrastructure and advances in City government during his tenure. In addition to serving his four previous terms as the mayor, no one else in the 126 year history of Ponca City has served for more than two terms. Nicholson is a past president of the Mayors Council of Oklahoma as well as a past president of the Oklahoma Municipal League Board of Directors. He is currently on the legislative committee of the OML, and is the Board Vice Chairman of the Oklahoma Municipal Power Association while also serving on the OMPA legislative committee.
Along with retired City Manager Gary Martin, Nicholson established the Kay County Mayors Roundtable, which continues to meet on a monthly basis with not only area mayors, but also various City Commissioners, Police and Fire Chiefs, and others in attendance. Former Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin even appointed Nicholson to the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality Board and the Pipeline Safety Task Force for the state, and he is also a member of the Oklahoma Homeland Security Advisory Council. Nicholson is still serving on the Board of Oklahoma Municipal Utilities Providers, the Water Quality Management Advisory Council, the Governor’s Task Force on Collection, Distribution & Enforcement of Municipal Sales Tax and the Governor’s Council on Workforce and Economic Development.
Nationally, Nicholson is the state of Oklahoma’s representative on the American Public Power Association Policy Makers Council. As a senior member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe appointed Nicholson, who served in the U.S. Army 35 years before retiring with the rank of Command Sergeant Major to the U.S. Service Academy Selection Committee.
If you are looking for where you need to vote in Ponca City today, go to https://www.vote411.org/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIwo-R_L224AIVy7jACh1D6Aw9EAAYASAAEgJDk_D_BwE#.XGLitFVKjZ4 .