Price advances to runoff in school board election
Updated: Mar 28
By Tim Willert, as published in The Norman Transcript, Feb. 15, 2023
A pair of Norman Public Schools parents with communications backgrounds advanced to a runoff election Tuesday in the race to replace outgoing board member Cindy Nashert.
With all 17 precincts reporting, Price received 1,370 votes (41.99%) while Kennedy finished second with 930 votes (28.50%).
Gary Barksdale, a math instructor, kept it close, receiving 874 votes (26.79%) of the vote.
Price and Kennedy will meet April 4 to decide who replaces Nashert, who did not seek reelection to the Office 3 position. Her five-year term ends in March.
Price is a former teacher and Norman PTA Council president who worked for the state Education Department developing public communications.
“I feel good. I’m happy to finish first and exited to meet more Norman families as we head to the runoff in April,” she said. “I just got a huge vote of confidence from a great number of families that feel strongly that Norman needs another educator on the school board.
Kennedy is a former Oklahoma City Public Schools communications director who runs a public relations and communication firm.
“I’m thrilled. I love that people turned out and supported public education and me as well,” she told The Transcript. “It’s awesome ... “I’m ready to hit the ground running.
“People are tired of the arguing from the far right and the far left, and my messaging resonated with the voters.”
Both candidates have lived in Norman for more than 25 years and have children who attend or attended district schools.
Price and her family spent Tuesday night eating pizza and playing Uno inside the Norman comic book business she owns with her husband.
“I’ve really enjoyed this time getting to get out and learn about what’s important to families,” she said. “Everyone loves their children, everyone is passionate about children and everyone’s voice matters.”
Kennedy spent Tuesday night taking care of a sick child and watching election updates.
“I’ve spent my whole career promoting and advocating for public education,” she said. “It’s important to me to make sure we help our kids, every one of them, be successful.”
Attempts to reach Barksdale were not immediately successful.
A fourth candidate, 20-year-old Kini Vaughn, pulled out of the Office 3 race earlier this month but her name appeared on the ballot. She received 89 votes (2.73%).
Photo credit: Kyle Phillips, The Norman Transcript