(Editor’s Note: As with NonDoc’s #HotRaces series from June, time constraints and limited resources prohibit us from personally interviewing each of almost 30 candidates from Oklahoma’s ongoing runoff elections that we’ve chosen to include in a new series: #OKrunoffs. Instead, we’ve opted to filter information about runoff contenders using publicly available information online and present it through the lens of political commentary and analysis. As the field narrows leading up to the general election Nov. 8, we plan to reach out to remaining candidates more directly.)
Republicans will vote in several runoff races in the greater Tulsa area Aug. 23. Currently, six Republican candidates are vying to replace term-limited GOP leaders at the state level.
The races presented below appear in numerical order, and the candidates for each race appear in order of most votes earned during the June primary.
Senate District 25
The Tulsa World recently described the district encompassing Bixby, south Tulsa and parts of Broken Arrow and Jenks as “about as Republican as it gets.” Initially, four conservatives filed to potentially replace Sen. Mike Mazzei (R-Tulsa), but it was Lisa Kramer and Joe Newhouse who advanced to the runoff with 35 percent and 29 percent of the vote, respectively.
If you’ve eaten a beef ‘n cheddar at an Arby’s within the recent past, chances are certified public accountant Kramer had something to do with it. The wife and mother of two worked for U.S. Beef Corp., which chiefly operates more than 300 Arby’s franchises. Beyond keeping tabs on the dollars and cents behind No. 2 combo meals, the University of Tulsa graduate was endorsed in the primary by the Tulsa World, Oklahomans for Public Education and the Tulsa Regional Chamber.
Put another way, she has the meats.
Judging by his campaign site’s home page, Broken Arrow native and realtor broker Newhouse prides himself on his family and his Navy service. Elsewhere on the site, interested voters can learn about his platform, which includes a section on transportation infrastructure called Pothole Frogger and also a section titled Relationships, in which he states:
“My definition of genuine leadership would be to attach jumper cables to the Golden Rule and supercharge the betterment of society by prioritizing the needs of the people.”
The winner will face Democrat Robert Founds on Nov. 8, who, as noted in the Tulsa World article linked in the opening of this section, represents the first Democrat to run in SD 25 since the millennium.
Senate District 39
The SD 39 (map) runoff race for Sen. Brian Crain’s (R-Tulsa) spot pits former U of Tulsa quarterback and 12-season coach Dave Rader against grandmother and gun-rights advocate Amanda Teegarden. The winner of this runoff will will face Democrat John Waldron, a social studies teacher at Booker T. Washington High School.
Rader appears to be running a relatively casual campaign: His last post on Facebook was on July 23 (as of this article’s publication), and his last Twitter post was from 2015, even though a June 23 Facebook post sought to promote #CoachRadersGamePlan. This lax approach to social media marketing may be related to the fact he won 40 percent of the primary vote against three opponents. Rader also has the endorsement of former TU and NFL footballer Steve Largent, a former congressman.
Meanwhile, Teegarden prides herself on being executive director of Oklahomans for Sovereignty and Free Enterprise (OK-SAFE), a nonprofit group that:
… sees a concerted, dedicated and well-funded effort by social and economic elites to transition the United States from a representative republic to a socialist group democracy, and finally into some type of world governmental structure.
New world orders aside, Teegarden’s campaign site states it is, “… the future of her young grandson that has inspired her to move from policy analyst to citizen legislator.” Teegarden has been endorsed by the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association for her high marks with the National Rifle Association and, in the primary, by conservative blogger Michael Bates and the Tulsa Area Republican Assembly.
House District 67
Switching chambers from the Senate to the House, Scott McEachin and Tom McCloud face each other in pursuit of Rep. Pam Peterson’s (R-Tulsa) HD 67 seat (map). The eventual victor will face Lori Wright, the district’s sole Democrat candidate, on Nov. 8.
Billing himself as a “principled conservative,” oil and gas lawyer McEachin was born in Tulsa, raised in California and graduated from UC Santa Barbara before returning to Oklahoma for law school. A member of the Federalist Society, the husband and father of three exhibits an academic approach to government as outlined within more than 700 words on his Meet Scott page. For those who prefer multimedia, jump over to the Videos page, where McEachin states in one clip, “Legally, (abortion) is an exception to first-degree murder.” Tom Coburn endorsed him, as did blogger Bates.
Opponent McCloud, meanwhile, draws heavily on faith-based rhetoric, which makes sense, given that his company publishes Community Spirit Magazine, “A Magazine of Inspiration and Information for the Christian Community.” Interestingly, Dave Rader lends a quote to the site, but McCloud remains relatively inactive on social media: His campaign page’s last post was June 29 (as of the publication of this article).
Oh, but if you’re playing the #election2016 drinking game (which has just now been invented), you can pour one up for the following cliché mentioned in his promo vid: “I am not a politician, and I don’t wanna be one when I grow up.”
The breadth of GOP turnout in the Tulsa area could be interesting to watch come Aug. 23.
(Correction: This post was updated to correct reference to the other candidates in Senate District 39.)