Oklahoma’s Republican runoff races for attorney general as well as state auditor and inspector appeared neck and neck during most of Tuesday night. Meanwhile, the Republican runoff elections for lieutenant governor, superintendent of public instruction and the Democrat runoff for corporation commissioner featured margins of victory well into the double digits.
Results listed below are unofficial as of publication time. For comprehensive election results, click here. The general election will take place Nov. 6.
With only about 269 more votes, incumbent Attorney General Mike Hunter barely managed to eke past challenger Gentner Drummond. In absentee mail voting, Hunter exhibited a commanding lead, garnering 55.95 percent. Early voting totals painted a much closer race, with Hunter leading by only 30 votes. Ultimately, the two would be too close to call until all precincts were counted Tuesday night.
Acrimony between Drummond and Hunter had been growing in the days and weeks leading up to the election. Most recently, the Drummond campaign drew sharp criticism for implying in a televised ad that Hunter favored immigration policies that ultimately led to the killing of Mollie Tibbetts in Iowa. Also on Sunday, Drummond’s wife, Wendy, took to Twitter to debunk what she saw as false claims in a pro-Hunter ad.
In August, Drummond continued to aggressively attack Hunter’s record during a Griffin communications-hosted debate. Prior, during a NonDoc-hosted debate in June, Drummond accused Hunter of lying about receiving contributions from pharmaceutical companies. Early on, Drummond’s campaign ran ads that labeled the incumbent a D.C. swamp lobbyist.
Hunter will face Democrat Mark Myles on the November ballot.
Matt Pinnell, former chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, has claimed victory over Corporation Commissioner Dana Murphy. With all precincts reporting, Pinnell won by about 17 percentage points.
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Incumbent Joy Hofmeister prevailed over challenger Linda Murphy for the GOP nomination by well over 10 percentage points. Murphy was the 1994 Republican nominee for the position.
In a contentious debate hosted Aug. 24 by NonDoc, Let’s Fix This, Generation Citizen and the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, testing standards, State Question 801 (which, if approved, would allow certain property taxes to fund local school districts) and the teacher pay raise package from the most recent legislative session featured prominently in the discussion.
Republicans and Democrats selected their nominees for one of Oklahoma’s three members of the Corporation Commission on Tuesday night.
Republican incumbent Bob Anthony handily earned his party’s nomination for a sixth time, defeating former Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman by about seven points.
Meanwhile, Democrat Ashley Nicole McCray prevailed over Blake Cummings in a landslide victory featuring a margin of about 30 percentage points.
Anthony and McRay will meet in November, and independent Jackie Short will also be on the ballot.
Commissioner of Labor
Rep. Leslie Osborn (R-Mustang) prevailed over Cathy Costello by almost five percentage points. According to her Facebook page, Osborn was endorsed by the Oklahoma chapter of the AFL-CIO as well as the Oklahoma Education Association, both pro-union groups with heavy Republican memberships.
Osborn will face Democrat Fred Dorrell and independent Brandt Dismukes on the November ballot.
State Auditor and Inspector
With about 1,000 votes separating the two, Cindy Byrd managed to defeat Charlie Prater for the Republican party’s nomination. Byrd has worked in the auditor’s office as deputy state auditor for several years. Once again, during a NonDoc-hosted debate, the two candidates clashed over several issues — political and personal.
Bird will face Libertarian John Yeutter on the November ballot.