Carter, Varnell face off in Ward 1 Oklahoma City Council election

Small business owners compete to represent west OKC, Canadian County


Editor’s Note: This is the second of two articles about candidates in Oklahoma City Council elections set April 6. Oklahoma City’s Ward 1 and Ward 3 cover significant portions of Canadian County. Oklahoma City is Canadian County’s largest municipality.

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

Two small business owners are contending for a seat on the Oklahoma City Council that covers northeast Canadian County.

Surrey Hills’ Bradley Carter is the Canadian County candidate in the general election “run-off” set Tuesday, April 6 for Oklahoma City’s Ward 1 post. Carter earned the most votes among nine candidates in the Feb. 9th primary.

His opponent in the April 6th non-partisan election is Oklahoma City’s Shay Varnell, who finished second in the primary.

The winner will earn the next four-year term on the nine-member Oklahoma City Council.

Ward 1 in Canadian County includes areas south of Piedmont and north of Yukon.

Oklahoma City Ward 1 incumbent James Greiner, first elected in April 2013, decided not to seek a third term. That decision generated strong interest in this year’s election, with nine candidates filing for the Ward 1 seat.

Carter finishing first in the Feb. 9th primary earning 1,022 (26.32%) of the 3,883 votes cast. Varnell was runner-up, garnering 724 votes.

Since no candidate received at least 50% of all votes tallied, this forced the April 6th run-off.

Oklahoma City is the largest and fastest-growing municipality in Canadian County, with about one-third of the county’s estimated 150,000 population inside Oklahoma City’s boundaries.


Bradley Carter

Carter, of N.W. 103rd in Yukon, wants to put his years of experience in business and ministry outreach to work as the “voice” for Ward 1. He was approached by his neighbors about running for the seat after Greiner announced he wouldn’t file for re-election.

“Through much prayer, my wife and I decided this was the route we needed to go,” Carter said. “It’s actually the endorsement of all of our neighbors and people that live in Ward 1 that has motivated us.”

Carter is owner of a coffee roasting and distribution company, a ministry leader and Constitutional conservative.

He said he’s enjoyed “visiting folks on the campaign trail” during speaking engagements, candidate forums and knocking on doors.

A lifelong Oklahoman, Carter plans to bring “common sense policies” back to Oklahoma City.

Carter’s key issues are: Growing jobs while strengthening the economy, improving the city’s infrastructure, protecting Second Amendment rights, defending Constitutional freedoms, helping small businesses, and attracting new industries.

A Bethany High School graduate, Carter served in the U.S. Army.

Carter started and continues to operate a coffee supply company. He serves on boards of various ministries to support local charities.

Shay Varnell

Varnell, of 10613 Whitechapel Street in Oklahoma City, said his “Oklahoma City values” will allow him to bring a stable voice to the city council.

Co-owner of an insurance agency, Varnell was appointed by Mayor David Holt to serve as Ward 1 representative on Oklahoma City’s Traffic & Transportation Commission.

“Through that traffic commission, I got to know the inner-workings and processes of Oklahoma City,” said Varnell, a lifelong Oklahoma City resident. “When Councilman Greiner decided he wasn’t going to run, I was approached by several city leaders and elected officials about taking over his spot.”

Varnell also is a member of the Bethany Public Schools’ Foundation and served 10 years as president of his homeowners’ association.

Varnell’s priorities include public safety and placing first responders first, investing in the infrastructure and focusing on keeping parks and recreation areas in Ward 1 as a “center point” of Oklahoma City.

Most of all, Varnell said he wants to see Oklahoma City prosper and make the city a “great place to call home.”


Ten Canadian County precincts in nine polling places will be open April 6 for the Oklahoma City Ward 1 general election:

  • Surrey Hills Baptist Church, 12421 N Mustang Road – Yukon
  • Richland Nazarene Church, 10825 N 6th – Richland
  • Bethel Community Church / Bradford Family Life Center, 4901 N Sara Road – Yukon
  • Church of Christ – South Yukon, 11700 NW 10th – Yukon
  • Covenant Community Church, 2250 Yukon Parkway – Yukon
  • Dale Robertson Center, 1200 Lakeshore Drive – Yukon
  • Sara Road Baptist Church, 2015 N Sara Road – Yukon
  • Light Your World Church, 4500 NW Expressway – Okarche
  • Piedmont First Baptist Church, 15 Jackson Road NW – Piedmont

All registered Oklahoma City voters in Ward 1 are eligible to cast their ballots for either Carter or Varnell.

Voters can find their polling place through the Oklahoma State Election Board’s online voter tool at

The Oklahoma City Council has nine members: The mayor, who is elected citywide; and one member from each of Oklahoma City’s eight wards.

They serve part-time at the head of the City’s council-manager form of government. The mayor’s annual salary is $24,000, and each council member’s annual salary is $12,000.