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Ward 1 Norman City council member resigns, ends reelection campaign


Ward 1 Councilmember Brandi Studley holds up a map of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Data Tracker, which is all in the red, minus Rhode Island, for high COVID-19 transmission rates. 

Ward 1 Councilmember Brandi Studley resigned Friday from her position and is no longer seeking reelection. 

In a statement on Facebook, Studley wrote she is seeking opportunities outside of Norman, leading her to leave before her term expires and ending her campaign. 

“I recognize the impact this has and the substantive work I’m leaving behind. I also know my ward and feel confident I have reflected their values and their desires for what Norman should be in the future,” Studley wrote. 

Studley was elected to council in 2021 after spending most of her life in Norman. She founded the Social Injustice League of Norman with her children, delivering food to the homeless several days a week. 

While on the council, Studley advocated for affordable housing measures, increased public transportation and improved mental health response, requesting a vote on forming and funding a mobile crisis response unit in December. 

Studley’s name will still appear on the Feb. 14 ballot against Austin Ball because she did not remove it before the Dec. 9 filing period. Should Studley win, a special election would be called to fill her seat for the term, she wrote in her statement. 

Her current term, which is set to end in July, will be filled by a candidate chosen through a selection committee of Ward 1 residents, Studley speculated in her statement. 

Tiffany Vrska, chief communications director for the city of Norman, confirmed Studley's seat would be filled via a special election should Studley defeat Ball and that her term will be filled by a candidate selected by Ward 1 residents. 

In a statement to OU Daily, Mayor Larry Heikkila said council was surprised by Studley's resignation, adding council will ensure ward 1 has representation.

In a text message to OU Daily, Studley said she is not planning on making any other announcements beyond her Facebook post

“I love this city, It is where I have spent the majority of my life, and it is the city that helped me become the person who can be in a position to take such a leap in my career and in my life,” Studley wrote. “I am heartbroken to leave with so much left to do.”

This article was updated on Jan. 14 at 12:42 p.m. to include statements from Vrska and Heikkila. 

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