All of a sudden last week, 15 candidates in the Oklahoma governor’s race were pared to five: one Democrat, two Libertarians, two Republicans.
The next winnowing will be on Aug. 28, when runoffs will lock in each party’s torchbearer. Then it’s a 10-week sprint to the election of Oklahoma’s 28th governor.
If you’re still wavering on a choice, or haven’t considered what’s at stake, it’s time to get serious. Oklahoma Watch is offering these candidate profiles, with facts, analysis and context, to help readers decide how to vote and understand the implications of electing one man vs. another. (Yes, the only woman in the race, Democrat Connie Johnson, is out.) We’ll update or eliminate profiles as the campaign continues.
Here are links to profiles of the current contenders:
In a state that gave Donald Trump a landslide in 2016, can the experienced, articulate Democrat attract enough moderate and independent voters unhappy with GOP leadership, and get enough Democratic turnout, to pull off a victory?
Can a Libertarian candidate who doesn’t mince words about his convictions on individual liberty and efficient government win a primary upset and then connect with the “inner Libertarian” of major-party voters?
Can a long-time, genial member of the Libertarian Party, which has struggled for decades to be taken seriously by voters, achieve a breakthrough by tapping into the simmering frustration with major established parties?
Can a likable, relatively moderate Republican, whose name is tied to the renaissance of Oklahoma City, convince enough voters elsewhere that he will chart a course for their cities’, and the state’s, economic revitalization?
Can a wealthy, engaging businessman who’s never run for public office parlay his outsider status, money and focus on business values and social conservatism into the chief executive job?