published Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Oklahoma primary roundup

OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Mary Fallin has defeated two pro-marijuana challengers to win the Republican nomination in her quest for a second four-year term as Oklahoma's chief executive.

Fallin defeated Oklahoma City criminal defense attorney Chad Moody and libertarian-leaning Dax Ewbank of Guthrie in Tuesday's Republican primary. The win sets up a November general election matchup against Democratic state Rep. Joe Dorman of Rush Springs and two independents.

Both Moody and Ewbank made their support of legalized marijuana an issue in the campaign, but Fallin said she opposed even the medicinal use of the drug.

The 59-year-old Fallin has never lost an election during her 25-year political career in Oklahoma that began in the Oklahoma House and included stints as lieutenant governor and in Congress.

Transgender woman advances in Oklahoma House race

A transgender candidate who is a former Oklahoma City police officer has advanced to a runoff for a state House seat.

Democrat Paula Sophia will face businessman and former pastor Jason Dunnington in the Aug. 26 runoff. The winner will take a seat at the Legislature as there is no Republican in the race.

House District 88 includes trendy neighborhoods such as Heritage Hills and the Midtown, Plaza and Paseo districts.

Sophia used to patrol the district she seeks to represent and retired this year to run for the Legislature. She was engaged in a brief legal battle with the city after becoming a woman in 2001, but ultimately returned to the force.

Dunnington said before the election he wanted to improve schools and ensure quality jobs come to Oklahoma.

Guild advances to runoff in Oklahoma 5th District Democratic race

Retired university professor Tom Guild has advanced to a runoff in the race for the Democratic nomination in central Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District.

Guild was leading two other candidates but not by a large-enough margin to take the nomination outright. Republicans will also have a runoff Aug. 26.

The candidates are seeking to replace Republican Rep. James Lankford, who Tuesday night won the GOP nomination for an open U.S. Senate seat.

Guild taught political science and legal studies for 27 years. He ran unsuccessfully for the 5th District in 2010 and 2012 as a Democrat. The former Republican also ran unsuccessfully three times for Corporation Commissioner.

Also in the Democratic race were state Sen. Al McAffrey and seniors advocate Leona Leonard, who were fighting for second place.

GOP picks Rep. James Lankford for open Oklahoma Senate seat

Two-term U.S. Rep. James Lankford emerged from a crowded primary field Tuesday to win the Republican nomination for Oklahoma's open U.S. Senate seat, avoiding a runoff despite a well-funded challenge from a tea party-backed candidate.

By getting more than 50 percent of the vote, the 46-year-old Lankford advances to face the Democratic nominee and one independent in November. The seat became open when GOP U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn announced in January he planned to step down with two years remaining on his term following a recurrence of prostate cancer.

A two-term congressman and Baptist minister from Edmond, the 46-year-old Lankford faced a fierce challenge from tea party-backed T.W. Shannon. Shannon last year became both the youngest and the first African-American speaker of the House.

But Lankford, a Baptist minister who spent 13 years directing one of the largest Christian youth camps in the country, dismissed attempts to paint him as a Washington insider, saying at a recent campaign event: "That's just the dynamic of it."

A political unknown when he won an open seat in Congress in 2010 from Oklahoma's Republican-leaning capital city, Lankford campaigned as a hard worker willing to delve deeply into complicated federal budget issues or congressional investigations.

It was the first time in recent history that both Oklahoma Senate seats were on the ballot at the same time. The state's other senator, James Inhofe, easily won his GOP primary

Bert Smith wins Democratic nomination to U.S. House District 4

Retired teacher and U.S. Army reservist Bert Smith has won the Democratic nomination to the U.S. House in Oklahoma's 4th Congressional District where he will challenge incumbent Republican Rep. Tom Cole.

Smith wins the nomination after running unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in 2012.

He will be trying to knock off an entrenched Republican incumbent who is considered a powerful member of Congress and serves on the House Appropriations Committee.

Independent candidate Dennis Johnson of Norman will also be on the November general election ballot.

Tom Cole wins Republican primary for re-election

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole has defeated a county Republican Party chairwoman for the GOP nomination in Oklahoma's 4th Congressional District.

Cole defeated Carter County Republican Party Chair Anna Flatt in Tuesday's primary. In the November election, he'll face the winner of the Democratic primary between Tae Si and Bert Smith and Independent candidate Dennis Johnson.

Cole is seeking a seventh term in the House and touts his membership on the House Appropriations Committee.

U.S. Rep. Lucas defeats 2 GOP primary challengers

Republican U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas has defeated two challengers to win the Republican nomination to his U.S. House seat in western Oklahoma.

Lucas is seeking his 11th term in the House.

He defeated Republican challengers Robert Hubbard and Timothy Ray Murray in Tuesday's primary election and will face Democrat Frankie Robbins in the Nov. 4 general election.

Lucas touts his chairmanship of the House Agriculture Committee and passage of a farm bill that he says saves $23 million during the next five years as compared to the previous five years.

Former teacher gets Democratic U.S. House nomination

A retired schoolteacher from Fort Gibson has won the Democratic nomination in Oklahoma's 2nd Congressional District race.

Earl Everett defeated recent college graduate Joshua Harris-Till in Tuesday's primary election.

He advances to the November general election against freshman GOP U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin and independent Jon Douthitt.

Everett is a Korean War veteran who ran for the seat in 2012 and forced a runoff after the primary.

He decided to run again because he says Mullin hasn't done enough for voters who live in the large district that sprawls across 26 counties in eastern Oklahoma.

Mullin earned his first term victory in 2012 because he was able to navigate the politically diverse district, which is home to thousands of conservative-leaning, pro-gun Democrats.

Sen. Jim wins GOP nomination

Oklahoma U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe has defeated four challengers to win the Republican nomination.

Inhofe is bidding for a fourth, six-year term in the Senate. He'll face one Democrat and three independent candidates in the Nov. 4 general election.

Inhofe would be 80 at the start of his term next year. He has rejected knocks from his opponents that he had stayed too long in Washington and wasn't conservative enough. Inhofe's campaign has maintained that he has consistently been ranked among the most conservative members in the Senate.

Inhofe had a health scare last year when he underwent emergency quadruple bypass surgery, but said in a recent interview that he was "overhauled and ready to go."

The district covers most of western Oklahoma, including the Panhandle.

2 Democrats advance to runoff in U.S. Senate race

A state senator from Oklahoma City and a perennial candidate from Midwest City have advanced to a Democratic runoff in the race for Oklahoma's open U.S. Senate seat.

State Sen. Connie Johnson will face Jim Rogers in an Aug. 26 primary runoff to determine which Democrat advances to November's general election to face Rep. James Lankford in the race to replace retiring Republican Sen. Tom Coburn.

The 62-year-old Johnson has been a leading progressive voice in the Republican-controlled Senate, pushing for abortion rights and becoming a hero to the pro-marijuana movement for her efforts to ease restrictions on the drug.

But the 79-year-old Rogers has become a familiar name to Democrats in Oklahoma, since he has run for office every cycle during the last decade, including president and U.S. Senate.

Freshman U.S. Rep. Mullin wins GOP nomination

First-term Republican U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin has clinched his party's nomination in Oklahoma's 2nd Congressional District race.

Mullin fended off a challenge from professional bass fisherman Darrel Robertson in Tuesday's primary race. Mullin, who owns a plumbing business, will face a Democrat and an independent in the Nov. 4 general election.

Robertson had criticized Mullin of shying away from the tea party support that helped send him to Washington in 2012.

Douglas, Russell advance to GOP U.S. House runoff

Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas and former state Sen. Steve Russell will meet in a runoff election for the Republican nomination in central Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District.

Douglas and Russell were the top vote getters in Tuesday' Republican primary. They will meet again in an Aug. 26 runoff to determine who will advance to the Nov. 4 general election. The winner faces the winner of a Democratic runoff and three independent candidates for the seat being vacated by Republican Rep. James Lankford, who is running for the U.S. Senate.

Douglas was elected mayor of Edmond before she took her statewide seat on the state Corporation Commission.

Russell is a retired Army lieutenant colonel who served in the state Senate from 2008 to 2012 after a more than 20-year Army career.

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