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“I wish every campaign could be like this,” School board election gives new meaning to clean race

OKLAHOMA CITY -- In an era of dirty politics, there is a new day on the horizon.

There were some hotly contested races throughout the state on Tuesday, including the race for Deer Creek School Board. The Deer Creek School District sits in the northwest corner of the Oklahoma City metro area.

Kelli Lay and Jerry Broughton were both actively seeking votes for the open seat, and each candidate spent weeks putting their signs across the district.

Even though one candidate won the seat, both of them are now working for the good of the district.

"We had two great candidates," said Deer Creek Superintendent Ranet Tippens. "We're so blessed they're both involved in our schools and going to continue to be."

If you're looking for a new standard for a clean race, look no further than Deer Creek.

On election night, Kelli Lay came out on top with about 60 percent of the district's 1,250 votes.

"We were both running for the position, but we weren't running against each other," Broughton said. "We were running to help Deer Creek."

"I wish every campaign could be like this," laughed Lay.

Soon after the votes were tallied, Lay and Broughton teamed up to clean up the area.

An anonymous donor agreed to donate a dollar for every campaign sign that was still posted on the side of the road.

Lay and Broughton agreed to match every donation, which means every sign collected will earn $2 for a local organization.

All money raised will go to the DC Transition House to help special needs students learn life skills for independent living.

"It is the piece that's missing to allowing these kids to graduate, live, work and be contributing members of their community," said Heather Squires, the parent of a child with special needs.

The DC Transition House will be the first of its kind in Oklahoma. The district is planning a top-notch facility for students who are generally left-out of capital campaigns.

"These students, they are just not seen real often, and for the first act after a school board election to be for these kids, I've never heard of that before," said Squires.

They are just getting started with fundraising, and they have a long way to go.

"If you see a sign pick it up. Take a picture and send it to us," Lay said.

There are about 800 out there, and only half have been collected so far.

"We had some in Logan County from the wind blowing them up there," Broughton joked. "You may find them up by Guthrie."

We all know politics is local; perhaps our state and federal leaders should take note.

If you see a campaign sign in the Deer Creek area:

  1. Pick it up.
  2. Take a picture.
  3. Send the pic to a candidate Facebook Page.

You can send in your sign pics to Lay's Facebook page, Broughton's Facebook page or the Deer Creek Parents page.