March 5, 2013

Candidates disclose election emotions

CHICKASHA — Politics is an emotional game at any level.

Whether running for congress for the first time, or trying to retain a seat on a local school board, politicians deal with an array of stress that would break many.

Even local city council candidates deal with this irritation and every one of them seems to have a different way of combatting it.

Incumbent Chickasha City Council Member Mike Sutterfield said he's much more nervous this time around then he was when he first ran two years ago.

"I had no expectations then," he said. "It was just easier to be detached from it all. Now having served and invested myself like I have, this election hits a lot closer to home."

Over the past two years Sutterfield has worked on several pieces of legislation that he hoped would better the city, and now on the eve of the election that work has become like children that depend on his support.

"It's important for me to be there and I am anxious about it," he said.

The other incumbent in this cycles municipal races is Phylis Steelman. Unlike Sutterfield, Steelman said she hasn't really given the election day jitters much thought.

"I just spent Monday trying to get people to go vote," she said.

Steelman said she picked up her parents and mother-in-law, so she could make sure they got to the polls.

Despite their differences regarding nerves and the election, both Steelman and Sutterfield share a similar hope for today's election.

"I hope to have big voter turnout," Sutterfield said. "The bigger it is, the better I'll feel about it. Given the size of our city, we have pretty low voter participation and that concerns me."

Steelman echoed this notion.

"I'll be honest, I want to win, and I want to continue, but the big thing is our citizens need to get out and vote and tell us what they expect," she said.

Newcomer and Steelman's opponent. Michael Chambon said he has lived his life as he usually does leading up to the election.

"I am going to  say my emotions have not changed," he said. "Im doing what I do every day. I realize if I don't get elected that my life still moves on. I still work as hard as I did before running. I still provide for my family everyday."

Although all three candidates will have to suffer the same anguish associated with waiting for results, Steelman said she plans to just continue with her normal Tuesday night ritual.

"People always laugh because I have a sewing group that meets every Tuesday night and the members have asked if we are still going to meet this week. I said 'yes, we are going to go ahead and sew, and that will be our watch party,'" she said.

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