Bridenstine, Pruitt, Others Get Free Pass In November Elections
U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla. 1) won re-election to a second two-year-term Friday when no candidate filed to run against him at the end of the three-day filing period.
The freshman GOP House member who represents Tulsa and much of Northeast Oklahoma was among several candidates who did not draw an opponent in their race, and will take office immediately after the November elections.
Three statewide GOP officeholders also get a free pass to another four-year term, including State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones, Attorney General Scott Pruitt, and State Treasurer Ken Miller.
Eight state senators and 50 House members will also not face a re-election challenge this year.
Incumbent Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) faces a primary challenges from D. Jean McBride-Samuels, Erick Paul Wyatt, Evelyn Rogers, and Rob Moye. In the general election he’ll face Bixby Democrat Matt Silverstein, and independents Ray Woods, Aaron DeLozier, and Joan Farr. DeLozier is a resident of Wichita Falls, Texas, and would have to move to Oklahoma if elected.
Seven Republicans, three Democrats, and one independent are seeking to fill the final two years of Sen. Tom Coburn’s term. Among the high-profile GOP candidates are former House Speaker T.W. Shannon, Fifth District U.S. Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla. 5), and former state Sen. Randy Brogdon (R-Owasso).
They’ll face independent Mark Beard in the general election, and the winner of a three-way Democratic primary between State Sen. Connie Johnson (D-Oklahoma City), Anadarko resident Patrick Michael Hayes, and Midwest City Democrat Jim Rogers, who Coburn beat handedly during his 2010 re-election campaign.
Oklahoma’s other Freshman House member, U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla. 2) faces one primary challenger in Jay Republican Darrel Robertson, a professional bass fisherman. The winner of that contest faces the Democratic nominee, who will emerge from a two-way race between Fort Gibson’s Earl Everett and Tahlequah’s Joshua Harris-Till. They’ll face Claremore independent Jon Douthitt in the general election.
Longtime U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla. 3) faces primary challenges from Robert Hubbard and Timothy Ray Murray. Medford Democrat Frankie Robbins will face one of those three in the general election.
Two Democrats, one Republican and one independent candidate are challenging U.S. Rep. Tom Cole. Norman Software developer and Democrat Tae Si, and Moore Democrat Bert Smith filed Friday, along with Ardmore Republican Anna Flatt and Norman independent Dennis Johnson.
The crowded Fifth District field drew Democrats Tom Guild, state Sen. Al McAffrey, and Leona Leonard. Republicans hoping to succeed the vacating Lankford include former state Sen. Steve Russell, state Rep. Mike Turner, state Sen. Clark Jolley, former state Rep. Shane Jett, Oklahoma City’s Harvey Sparks, and Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas. Independents Buddy Ray, Tom Boggs, and Robert Murphy also filed.
State Rep. Joe Dorman (D-Rush Springs) was the only Democrat to challenge Gov. Mary Fallin. She drew primary challenges from Chad Moody and Dax Ewbank. They’ll face independents Richard Prawdzienski, Joe Sills, and Kimberly Willis in the general.
Two Republicans and four Democrats are challenging incumbent GOP State Superintendent Janet Barresi. Democrats Jack Herron, John Cox, Freda Deskin, and Ivan Holmes filed, along with Republicans Joy Hofmeister and Brian Kelly.
Oklahoma’s primary electing is June 24. If a candidate fails to win more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff between the top two candidates will be held Aug. 26. The general election takes place Nov. 4.