The more moderate candidate prevailed in a heated Edmond State Senate GOP runoff Tuesday evening. Meanwhile, the more experienced candidate won in the Democratic Party’s 5th congressional district runoff.
Air Force veteran Adam Pugh posted 54.1 percent in SD 41, while controversial pastor and retired football player Paul Blair lost in the district for the second consecutive cycle.
“We ran a completely positive campaign,” Pugh said.
The Oklahoma State Chamber-backed candidate now turns his attention to Democratic opponent Kevin McDonald, an Edmond teacher who Pugh says he met while knocking doors.
“I told him the same thing I told pastor Blair — This is not war,” Pugh said. “I’ve been to war. I know what that looks like. We’re just two people who want to have a conversation and have different opinions.”
Blair’s campaign turned negative and suffered awkward headlines in the runoff weeks, and Pugh admitted that some people were adamantly opposed to his opponent.
“When you have a 20-year history as an activist, you are going to meet people who have strong opinions about you, positive or negative,” Pugh said of Blair.
McAffrey moves on to general
On the Democratic side of CD 5, Al McAffrey topped Tom Guild by 40 votes Tuesday.
“We’re excited that we have won. My opponent outspent me two to one,” McAffrey said, before thanking his supporters and donors.
He will face incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve Russell (R-OKC) in November.
“I have nothing wrong with Steve Russell, but I disagree with his policies,” said the former state senator, who recalled when Russell caught heat for demanding records on female Army rangers whom he believed may have unfairly passed military requirements.
McAffrey said Russell was wrong on the topic.
“He believes a woman should be in the kitchen,” McAffrey said. “Steve Russell does not represent the people of Oklahoma. He represents a select few, and that’s not what you do as a Congressman. You represent everybody, and that’s what I’ll do. That’s what I did in the Senate and the House.”
McAffrey listed veterans issues, health care and education as priorities in his campaign for the upcoming general election.
Other #OKrunoffs results
Jet McCoy vs. Greg McCortney, Senate District 13
Former Ada mayor Greg McCortney (52.3%) leveraged past political experience to best cowboy and reality TV star Jet McCoy (47.7%) in the SD 13 runoff.
Jason Lowe vs. Chris Harrison, House District 97
In northeast Oklahoma City, attorney Jason Lowe (56.7%) prevailed over Millwood Public Schools board member Chris Harrison (43.3%).
Matt Jackson vs. Robyn Matthews, House District 85
Three-time GOP candidate Matt Jackson will head to the general election in House District 85 after receiving 54.6 percent of the vote Tuesday against opponent Robyn Matthews (45.4%).
Rhonda Baker vs. Chad Slane, House District 85
In House District 60, the GOP electorate picked teacher Rhonda Baker over fellow teacher Chad Slane (44.4%). Slane led much of the night through early returns, but Baker finished with 55.6 percent of the vote.
(Correction: This piece was updated at 6:50 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 24, to reference the name of Senate District 41’s Democratic candidate correctly.)