The Tulsa Public Schools Board on Monday officially moved to postpone next month’s runoff elections for two seats until June 30.
School boards and other local entities are allowed to reschedule their April 7 elections because of the COVID-19 pandemic under an emergency declaration from the State Election Board secretary.
TPS Board member Suzanne Schreiber said while moving back the election is a difficult choice, it’s the right one, considering most poll workers are older Tulsans with higher risk of serious cases of COVID-19.
"I just don’t think that we can put them in jeopardy or ask them to do that, and we also don’t want to spoil the election by not having enough people who can work those, and then we have a whole different problem on our hands," Schreiber said.
The board's resolution moves the runoffs for Districts 5 and 6 to June 30, the day designated for Oklahoma’s U.S. Senate and county primaries. Board member Stacey Woolley said there could be some benefits to that.
"Because we could potentially be on with other votes, maybe we’ll see an increased turnout, and then maybe some increased interest going forward in school board elections," Woolley said.
Current school board members Brian Hosmer and Ruth Ann Fate’s terms are being extended. Hosmer is not running for re-election in District 5. That runoff will be between teacher-turned-insurance agent John Croisant, who garnered 43.8% of the vote, and former Republican state House candidate Shane Saunders, who got 26% of the vote.
Fate is being challenged by Jerry Griffin. Griffin edged out the 24-year incumbent by 42 votes in February, but he did not win a majority.