Four of the city's elected leaders, including the chief of police, appear to have latched on to a new term in office without drawing opponents, while races are set for city clerk and Ward 2's council slot.

The filing period for clerk, treasurer, police chief, street commissioner, and city councilors in Ward 1 and Ward 2 drew to a close Wednesday evening. All but one candidate filed on the opening day.

Barring a challenge, Police Chief Nate King will begin his second term next May. It's been years - perhaps since the 1980s - that a chief of police candidate ran without opposition.

"I think that means we're on the right path," King said Wednesday. "It doesn't mean we get it right every time, but it means we've been open to the public, responsive to the city's needs and that we're constantly assessing where we might need to change something."

King credits his unopposed re-election to the officers and employees at the police department.

"They work hard every day to serve and protect Tahlequah," King said. "I think we're going to keep doing what we're doing; I think it's working for us and for Tahlequah right now. We tried to put to use what I've learned watching and working for Sheriff [and former Tahlequah Police Chief] Norman Fisher and watching him all of these years, along with the veteran officers I still have around me."

Tahlequah Street Commissioner Wayne Ryals, who was hired to finish a term left by former Street Commissioner Mike Corn when he retired, also won a chance at a full, four-year term, without opposition.

Also unopposed are Ward 1 Councilor Bree Long and Treasurer Lanny Williams.

For city clerk, 25-year-old Blake Turner, who filed his declaration of candidacy Monday, is set to compete against DeAnna Hammons, who was the only candidate to file Wednesday. Hammons, 47, lists an address in the 300 block of Earl Street; Turner lists an address in the 3400 block of Southridge Place.

Incumbent Ward 2 Councilor Charles Carroll, 83, is being challenged by Dower Combs, 55. Carroll lists an address in the 300 block of Fuller Street, while Combs lists an address in the 500 block of Greenwood Drive.

Candidacies can be contested through 5 p.m. Friday at the Cherokee County Election Board.

The city's non-partisan election will be held Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017.

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