Oklahoma Sheriff races
Current Oklahoma County Sheriff P.D. Taylor, left, and former Norman police officer Tommie Johnson III, right, will head to an Aug. 25, 2020 runoff for the chance to face Democrat Wayland Cubit in the general election. (NonDoc)

At the conclusion of Oklahoma’s June 30 election night, Oklahoma and Cleveland counties will head to an Aug. 25 runoff to select their Republican nominees for sheriff.

In Oklahoma County, incumbent Oklahoma County Sheriff P.D. Taylor will go to a runoff with Norman police officer Tommie Johnson III. In Cleveland County, two Republicans will vie for the chance to face an independent. In Pottawatomie County, the incumbent won re-election against two opponents.

Oklahoma County heads to runoff

In the Oklahoma County Sheriff race, incumbent Sheriff P.D. Taylor held onto a tight lead all night against two GOP opponents and finished with 48.3 percent of the vote. By not exceeding 50 percent, Taylor will go to a runoff with Norman police officer Tommie Johnson III, who earned 33 percent. (Mike McCully received 18.7 percent of the GOP vote.)

The winner between Taylor and Johnson will face Democratic candidate Wayland Cubit, a lieutenant with the Oklahoma City Police Department, in November’s general election. Cubit defeated Virgil Green in the Democratic primary 63.9 percent to 37.6 percent.

Johnson earned an endorsement from McCully toward the end of the night.

“I am proud to endorse my friend and brother in blue,” McCully said on his campaign’s facebook page. “P.D. Taylor has to go! Oklahoma County needs a new sheriff in town!”

The responsibilities of the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office are mostly the same as other counties, including the patrolling of rural areas and the enactment of judicial services. However, in July, the OCSO will put the operations of the Oklahoma County Jail in the hands of the Oklahoma County Jail Trust, which was created a year ago by the Oklahoma County Commissioners.

Cleveland County also heads to runoff

In Cleveland County, there was no incumbent on Tuesday’s ballot, as interim Sheriff Blake Green did not seek election. Four Republican candidates sought the office, with Chris Amason (45.5 percent) and Rick Adkins (21.1 percent) moving into an August GOP runoff. The winner will face independent Kelly Owings in November.

In the GOP primary, Michael Freeman received 20.2 percent of the vote, and Tim Deal finished with 13.1 percent.

Pottawatomie County has its man

Incumbent Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth won re-election by a large margin, lengthening his tenure held since 2009. Booth ran against two other Republicans, Jeff Griffith and Ben Henderson. No other candidates filed.

Booth received 59.2 percent of Tuesday’s vote, while Henderson received 14.1 percent and Griffith got 26.7 percent.

Booth has a long history with the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office, having joined as a reserve in 1986. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1974 through 2002, and he was recalled for active duty following 9/11. During that time, he served with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in Italy. Booth also spent a decade as an investigator for the Pottawatomie County District Attorney’s Office.

(Update: This post was updated at 9:53 a.m. to correctly identify Johnson as a current Norman police officer. Also included is an endorsement for Johnson from McCully.)