Oklahoma District 7

Oklahoma County’s District 7 judicial jurisdiction encompasses all of Oklahoma County. It is one of 26 total district courts in the state.

Unlike other races for public offices, judges don’t usually run by political party, so elections are nonpartisan.

Further, there are special rules limiting how they can campaign. Those differences can make it hard for voters to choose how to vote and for candidates to stay within the rules.

(Editor’s note: The following candidates appear in numerical order of district office in ascending order first and then by alphabetical order within each office. As with most of our #election2018 primers, information was gleaned from readily accessible, public-facing websites.)

District 7, Office 3

Mark K. Bailey

Mark Bailey received his J.D. from Oklahoma City University School of Law in 2001. He served in the Oklahoma County Public Defender’s Office, where he was promoted to supervising attorney, and then entered private practice as a criminal defense lawyer. Bailey was arrested in 2017 for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, but the case was dismissed.
Links: Bailey appears to lack a readily accessible campaign presence online.

Howard Haralson

Gov. Mary Fallin appointed Howard Haralson to district judge in 2017. It was a controversial choice: In 2013, Haralson presided over a custody case between Lisa Knight and her ex-husband, Nicholas Elizondo. The case decided their daughter’s future, and Haralson ruled that 6-year-old Sarah belonged out of state with her father, a registered sex offender convicted of molesting another girl (his step-daughter) when she was also 6. Protests over Haralson’s decision brought Knight into contact with other families who maintain that Haralson sent their children into unsafe situations.
Links: Website | Facebook

Amy Palumbo

Amy Palumbo worked for Chesapeake Energy’s Land and Legal Department, prosecuted hundreds of cases while part of the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office and went into private practice with Marco Palumbo and Associates. At the DA’s office, she also led part of the Domestic Violence Task Force. Palumbo’s campaign website touts her “conservative values” in large type. She ran in a separate district judge race back in 2014.
Links: Website | Facebook

District Judge Candidates: District 7, Office 5

Natalie Mai

Natalie Mai graduated from Cornell University in 2001, OCU Law in 2009 and built a private practice serving clients in civil, tax and criminal law. Before her law degree, she worked in finance, and she is fluent in three languages. Mai has been endorsed by the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office Fraternal Order of the Police 155.
Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Erik Motsinger

Born with cancer in both eyes, Erik Motsinger spent more than a decade at the DA’s office and is endorsed by the Midwest City Fraternity of Police, the Jones Police Department and other law enforcement agencies. Referring to his blindness, his website states he never uses it as “an excuse” but rather as “motivation.” In a June 9 Facebook post, he appears to be holding a large firearm while wearing a Make America Great Again hat.
Links: Website | Facebook

Chris Sloan

Chris Sloan graduated from Ball State University in 2000, Oklahoma City University School of Law in 2002 and started his own solo law practice in 2004. Eventually, he focused on cases that involve injuries from auto collisions, employing the tagline, “Just Phone Sloan.” Sloan contested Mai’s candidacy on April 17, but the Oklahoma County Election Board retained her on the ballot.
Links: Website | Facebook

Hank Young

Hank Young has worked with criminal prosecution, criminal defense and administrative law. He is a graduate of Dartmouth and earned his J.D. from the University of Chicago. His campaign website showcases endorsements from law firms, including Whitten Burrage and Olgetree Deakins. Young addresses the low voter engagement characteristic of district judges’ races with the campaign slogan, “Don’t Leave It Blank – VOTE FOR HANK!”
Links Website | Facebook | Twitter