district attorney races
Clockwise from top left: Jacqui Ford, Kevin Calvey, Gayland Gieger, Mark Myles, Robert Gray, and Vicki Behenna are candidates for Oklahoma County district attorney in 2022. (NonDoc)

With the impending retirement of Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater and an ongoing investigation into Pottawatomie County District Attorney Allan Grubb’s office finances, both positions have drawn heavy interest among candidates for the 2022 election.

Candidates will face intra-party opponents in the June 28 primary. If no candidate wins a simple majority of votes in the primary, then the top two vote earners will compete in an Aug. 23 runoff election. The winners of those elections will move onto the general election, which is set for Nov. 8.

If a candidate does not have any intra-party opponents file, that candidate will automatically move to the general election. If a candidate has no opponents at all in their race, they are automatically elected to the seat.

In Oklahoma County, voters will also decide a June 28 ballot question asking if the county can use $260 million in bonds to fund the construction of a new Oklahoma County jail.

Six file for Oklahoma County district attorney

Four Republicans and two Democrats filed to replace the open Oklahoma County District Attorney seat vacated by David Prater who is retiring after 16 years in the seat.

Kevin Calvey, who currently serves as Oklahoma County’s District 3 commissioner, has said if elected Oklahoma County’s DA, he would dismiss the manslaughter charges against five police officers who shot and killed 15-year-old Stavian Rodriguez during an armed robbery.

In the June 28 republican primary, Calvey will face Gayland Gieger, Robert W. Gray and Jacqui Ford. In November, the four participated in a forum hosted by the Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police.

Gieger has worked in the Oklahoma County district attorney’s office since 1999, according to his campaign website. Gray has worked at a private law practice for the last 12 years, according to his campaign website. Ford has worked as a criminal defense lawyer for 15 years, according to her campaign website. In June, Ford switched parties from Democrat to Republican.

In the Democratic primary, Mark Myles will compete with Vicki Behenna for the nomination.

Myles previously ran for attorney general in 2018, losing to Mike Hunter in the general election. Myles previously worked as a prosecutor in Logan County. Prior to becoming an attorney in 2008, he worked for the International Business Machines Corporation.

Behenna served as an assistant U.S. attorney for more than 25 years, and she worked to prosecute Timothy McVeigh in 1997 following the bombing of the Murrah federal building. McVeigh was given the death penalty and executed in 2001. Behenna is now a partner in the law firm Behenna, Goerke, Krahl and Meyer.

Pottawatomie County DA draws two opponents

Incumbent Pottawatomie County District Attorney Allan Grubb — who was first elected to the office in 2018 as a supporter of criminal justice reform efforts — is facing two Republican challengers, David M. Hammer and Tonya Roland.

Grubb is currently facing an audit from Cindy Byrd, the state’s auditor and inspector, and a criminal inquiry from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, which was requested by district attorneys from across the state Feb. 17. Prater requested the audit over concerns surrounding Grubb’s use of deferred prosecution agreements. Such deals allow prosecutors to make monetary agreements with people so that they can avoid facing criminal charges.

Hammer served as an assistant district attorney in Pottawatomie County from 2016 to 2018 before returning to his private practice, the Hammer Law Firm.

Roland currently works at Wilson Law Firm, according to her LinkedIn. Her LinkedIn also indicates that she served as an assistant district attorney in Grady County from January 2019 to June 2021.

Blumert faces five challengers for Oklahoma County District 1 commissioner

Incumbent Carrie Blumert is seeking re-election to a second term as Oklahoma County’s District 1 Commissioner.

In the primary election, Blumert will face three challengers: Christine Byrd, who most recently ran unsuccessfully for chairwoman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, Anastasia Pittman, who served in the Oklahoma Legislature until 2018, and Kendra Coleman who was removed as an Oklahoma County District Court Judge in September 2020 on grounds of misconduct.

Wednesday, Coleman attempted to file for her district court position again, but her applications was rejected at the State Capitol. Friday, she filed to run for Oklahoma County District 1 commissioner.

GOP voters will also have a primary election for the seat. Willard Linzy, who previously ran for the District 48 State Senate seat in 2018, will face LaTonya Williams, who currently serves as the Ward 3 city councilwoman in Spencer.

Six compete for Oklahoma County District 3 commissioner

As Calvey will vacate his District 3 seat on the Board of County Commissioners to run for district attorney, six candidates have thrown their hats in the ring to fill the empty seat.

In the Democratic primary, Cathy Cummings, who most recently served as a city councilwoman in The Village — which was redistricted out of District 3 — will run against Jay Bridwell, who served in the U.S. Air Force for 24 years.

Four republicans, Ronnie Jones, Amy Alexander, Myles Davidson and former Sheriff P.D. Taylor will for the District 3 seat.

Jones, a former champion motorcycle rider, according to his campaign website, has never run for political office. Jones previously started both a marketing and insurance company and calls himself a “Trump conservative,” according to his campaign website.

Alexander currently serves as a field representative within the Oklahoma County District 2 office, according to her campaign website. She formerly worked in the real estate industry and cites the problems at the Oklahoma County Jail as a primary motivation to run for the seat, according to her campaign website.

Davidson has served as Calvey’s chief deputy since 2019. Prior to that, Davidson served as Commissioner Brian Maughan’s deputy, according to his campaign website.

Taylor served as the Oklahoma County sheriff from 2017 till he was ousted by current Oklahoma County Sheriff Tommie Johnson III in the 2020 Republican primary runoff election.

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Freeman, Stein face Democratic challengers

In the general election, incumbent Republican Forrest “Butch” Freeman will face the winner of the Democratic primary — which features Tom Guild and Brandon Kirkpatrick — for Oklahoma County treasurer.

Guild has run for Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District each election since 2010, most recently losing to Kendra Horn in the 2020 Democratic primary election. In 2018, he was caught on video tearing down Horn’s campaign signs.

Kirkpatrick currently works for the Justice for Julius coalition, a group which advocates for Julius Jones to be released from prison. Jones was convicted of the 1999 murder of Paul Howell, which Jones has maintained he did not commit. Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt commuted Jones’ sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Nov. 18.

Kirkpatrick also works as a general sales manager at Deep South Equipment, according to his LinkedIn.

Incumbent Larry Stein will face Democrat Nick Singer in the general election for Oklahoma County assessor. Singer most recently ran for the Office 2 seat on the Oklahoma City Public Schools school board in 2017, but he was defeated in the runoff. In 2012, Singer ran as a Democrat in the House District 87 seat, but he lost in the general election.