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Norman’s Heikkila defeats incumbent Clark in mayor’s race

April 6, 2022 GMT

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Former Norman safety manager Larry Heikkila defeated incumbent Breea Clark on Tuesday in the race to be mayor of Oklahoma’s third-largest city.

Clark and Heikkila were the top vote-getters in a four-way primary election in February. Clark outpolled Heikkila in the absentee and early voting balloting, taking 56 percent of that vote. Heikkila rallied in the Election Day balloting, however, taking 55 percent of Tuesday’s vote and 53 percent of the total vote in unofficial returns from all of the city’s 50 voting precincts.

Heikkila is a Navy veteran who touted his endorsement of the Norman Fraternal Order of Police.

Clark, who heads a leadership program at the University of Oklahoma, had faced criticism for her support of mask mandates and business closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and for pushing a reallocation of the city’s police funding after the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020.

The criticism led to the rise of Unite Norman, a grassroots conservative movement that unsuccessfully sought to oust Clark and several members of the City Council.