By Conrad Dudderar
Three precinct polling places will be open next Tuesday, Feb. 8 as Ward 1 voters decide who will represent them for the next four years on the Yukon City Council.
Incumbent Rick Cacini is being challenged by Rodney Zimmerman for the Ward 1 seat on the five-member city council.
Cacini was elected in 2018 without opposition and now serves as vice mayor. This is Zimmerman’s first campaign for public office.
Only qualified voters in Ward 1 are eligible to vote in this election.
Early in-person voting is 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Feb. 3-4 at the Canadian County Election Board office in El Reno.
Cacini, 74, has cited his leadership and financial experience, military background and ability to seek solutions and compromise.
“This community was there for my family, and I will always stand ready to serve them in any fashion,” said Cacini, who has lived 31 years in Ward 1. “I will always save and care for our tax dollars, since I am a taxpayer as well.”
The incumbent, of Landmark Drive, retired as lieutenant colonel with 40 years in the U.S. Army and 24 years in the Air Force. Having served overseas deployments, he is founder and curator of the Yukon Veterans Museum.
Zimmerman, 44, has emphasized he is not a politician – but a Yukon citizen who remembers the small-town atmosphere growing up here.
“I want to work with other council members and city leaders to help us navigate the growth and hold on to the small-town feel so many of our citizens live here for,” said Zimmerman, who has lived 17 years in Ward 1.
The challenger, of Markley Lane, has taught 18-1/2 years in Yukon Public Schools and coaches girls’ track and cross country. He is a Yukon native and Yukon High School graduate.
AND THE PRECINCTS ARE …
Ward 1 precincts open from 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. next Tuesday for the city council election will be:
217 – Covenant Community Church, 2250 Yukon Parkway
218 – Discovery Church, 900 E Main Street
220 – Dale Robertson Center, 1200 Lakeshore Drive
The winner will receive the oath of office for the next four-year term at the May 3rd Yukon City Council meeting.
The council is due to elect a mayor and vice mayor for the next 12 months at that meeting.
The last contested Ward 1 Yukon City Council race was March 4, 2014, when challenger Richard Russell beat incumbent Nick Grba by a 171-91 vote margin.
No Ward 1 election was needed four years later after only Cacini filed for office.
Other Yukon City Council members are Shelli Selby, Ward 2; Donna Yanda, Ward 3; Aric Gilliland, Ward 4; and Jeff Wootton, At-Large.
Selby, who has been Yukon’s mayor since May 2020, has earned another four-year term on the council after nobody filed against her in Ward 2.
Yukon City Council members are unpaid volunteers. Regular meetings are 7 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of each month inside the Centennial Building, 12 S 5th.
Council members cannot serve more than two consecutive terms in office, according to the Yukon city charter.