Bennington mayor calling election invalid after losing seat

BENNINGTON, Okla. (KXII) -- The mayor of Bennington who lost her seat in the April 4th election, now claims that election was invalid.

The town of Bennington held an election to vote in two new city board of trustees, but they weren't sworn in Thursday night because the mayor left the meeting, saying they didn't meet quorum.

Idanel Wright has been the mayor since 2006, appointed by that position to the board.

She put her name on the ballot because she said she was told her term was up, but she said this week, she got the papers to prove she had only served two of her four years.

"Do you not keep track of these kind of things?" Angela Smith asked in the meeting.

"I did keep track of it, and I told them that it wasn't my seat, but they assured me that it was," Wright said.

"Who is they?" Smith said.

"The city, the election board," Wright said.

Wright lost her seat by two votes and 74 people voted. The election board said she could have challenged the results for up to three days after the election, but it's too late now.

"Three candidates filed, she finished third," Bryan Dean with the Oklahoma State Election Board said.

"It's my bad for not checking and making sure that it was my seat," Wright said.

"Eleven years, how do you not know when you're elected on the board, when your term is up," Smith said.

Community members showed up at the meeting Thursday, wanting a clear explanation, but Wright said she had explained exactly what happened.

"I have questions about the whole thing because I don't know how it's all been done," Smith said.

Wright said she did not want to take the issue to court.

"Because it would cost the town more money that what the town has," Wright said.

But at the end of Thursday's meeting, it was decided to hire an attorney and take the results to court. Wright said she will start that process Friday morning.