KGOU

John Cox

Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

A closer-than-expected governor’s race, a neck-and-neck standoff for the state superintendent seat and several competitive state Senate seats comprise Tuesday’s general election.

Early voting began Thursday and continued through Saturday. Winners will take their seats at the start of the legislative session early next year.

Democratic superintendent canddiate John Cox and Republican nominee Joy Hofmeister during Tuesday's debate at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa.
OStateTV

With just a week before the November 4 general election, Republican Joy Hofmeister and Democrat John Cox set out to differentiate themselves last night in one of the final debates in the race for Oklahoma’s top education office.

Democratic superintendent canddiate John Cox and Republican nominee Joy Hofmeister exchange words during an Oct. 19, 2014 debate at the Norman Depot.
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

The two candidates for the office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction met for a debate Sunday afternoon in Norman.

Both Democrat John Cox and Republican Joy Hofmeister said they oppose the A-F grading system for public schools, and mentioned their dislike of the Common Core. Cox said he wants to see new education standards created by the state.

State Rep. Doug Cox, R-Grove.
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Longtime educator John Cox has won the Democratic Party's nomination to be Oklahoma's next superintendent of schools.

Cox has worked in education for 30 years as a teacher, principal and superintendent.

In voting Tuesday, he defeated teacher Freda Deskin to win the nomination and will face Republican Joy Hofmeister in November.

Hofmeister defeated incumbent Janet Barresi in the June GOP primary.

Both Cox and Deskin had said Oklahoma voters made a statement by turning Barresi out of office in the primary.

StickWare / Flickr

Two combat veterans, a contentious state schools superintendent race, and Oklahoma's first African-American female Senate candidate face Oklahoma voters this week.

Early voting began Thursday and continued into the weekend, and the winners in Tuesday's runoff advance to November's election to square off against nominees who found out their fate just over two months ago after the June 24 primary.

KGOU News Director Ben Fenwick gathered University of Oklahoma political scientist Keith Gaddie, Oklahoma Watch political reporter M. Scott Carter, and eCapitol News Director Shawn Ashley to discuss some of the implications of what's left on the ballot.

Here are three contests they're keeping an eye on:

Joy Hofmeister, Oklahoma State Schools Superintendent
Provided

Former state Education Board member Joy Hofmeister has won the Republican nomination for Oklahoma state school superintendent.

Hofmeister defeated incumbent Janet Barresi and challenger Brian Kelly in Tuesday's primary election. She'll face one of four Democrats in the running for that party's nomination.

Barresi was first elected to office in 2010 at the height of the tea party movement and vowed to reform the state's public education system.