Canadian County Fair Board filing next week

Candidates sought for three seats; election would be Feb. 12

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Canadian County Fair Board Secretary Brad Tipton

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

EL RENO – Candidate filing will be open next week for three seats on a volunteer board that oversees Canadian County’s fair events and facilities.

The Canadian County Fair Board is comprised of nine members, three serving from each county commissioner district.

Each year, three fair board seats are up for election.

This year, incumbents facing re-election are Justin Atkinson of El Reno (District 1), Ken Carpenter of Mustang (District 2) and Dan Wedman of Calumet (District 3).

Candidates will file between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 24 through Friday, Jan. 28 at the Canadian County Clerk’s Office, 201 N Choctaw.

Only registered voters of Canadian County are eligible. Anyone who files must live in the commissioner’s district they seek to represent.

“If only one person files in a district, then they’re automatically elected,” Canadian County Election Board Secretary Brad Tipton said.

“Electing fair board members is part of the process. Sometimes you get more than one candidate and sometimes you don’t. So, it’s hard to say. We’ll know Friday the 28th at 4:30 p.m.”

If more than one candidate files for a seat, an election to decide the winner will be 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12 at:

  • District 1 – Canadian County Administration Building (Public Meeting Room), El Reno
  • District 2 – Mustang Town Center, Mustang
  • District 3 – Canadian County Farm Bureau Building, El Reno

Canadian County’s nine fair board members are each elected to serve three-year terms. There are no term limits and several members have served more than a decade.

Longtime Canadian County Fair Board Chairman Kelly Beck, of Yukon, was re-elected in 2021. Wedman, the longest-serving board member, is vice chairman.

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HEY, IT’S IMPORTANT

With Canadian County’s growth, Tipton said the fair board’s duties are more important than ever.

The Canadian County Fair Board in responsible for operations at the new Canadian County Expo & Event Center (campus #1), 3001 Jensen Road East; and the old fairgrounds (campus #2), 220 N Country Club Road.

The nine-member panel plans and presents the Canadian County Fair and spring youth livestock show at these El Reno venues.

The 50th Annual Canadian County Junior Livestock Show will be in late February and early March.

Canadian County’s 68th Annual Free Fair will be presented during the week of Aug. 22-27.

Board members’ duties include spending appropriated funds from the Canadian County budget and money raised from activities at the fairgrounds’ facilities.

For example, the board is in the process of purchasing a set of digital cattle scales for events at the Canadian County Expo & Event Center.

Regular Canadian County Fair Board meetings are set Thursday, Jan. 20; Tuesday, Feb. 15 (to elect officers); Tuesday, May 3; Thursday, July 21; and Thursday, Oct. 27.

There also are typically one or two special meetings annually.

“We have to have a quorum of five out of the nine to make decisions and conduct business,” Tipton said. “That’s important – to be willing and able to attend meetings.”

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