(Update: Read a recap and watch video of the debate here. This article was updated at 10:40 a.m. Monday, June 20, to reflect changes to the debate among CD 2 candidates in Bartlesville.)
Fourteen people are running for the Republican nomination in Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District, and all of them were invited to take part in a Monday, June 20, debate date hosted by NonDoc at the Bartlesville Community Center, 300 SE Adams Blvd. in Bartlesville.
Although the debate date originally featured two debates, a number of candidates have declined to participate. As a result, only one debate will be held between the nine confirmed CD 2 candidates at 5:30 p.m.
The debate — titled Congressional Confessional — is being held in partnership with News on 6, and Tres Savage of NonDoc and Jonathan Cooper of News on 6 will serve as moderators. The debate will be live-streamed on News on 6’s website and Facebook page, as well as NonDoc’s Facebook page. All questions posed to candidates will be written and asked by professional journalists. Mvskoke Media and The Frontier are also media partners for this debate, with The Frontier leading up fact checking efforts.
To be reminded of the June 20 debate livestream, you can RSVP to this Facebook event page.
The candidates seeking the Republican nomination in CD 2 are:
- Guy Barker
- John Bennett
- Josh Brecheen
- David Derby
- Rep. Avery Frix (R-Muskogee)
- Pamela Gordon
- Rhonda Hopkins
- Clint Johnson
- Wes Nofire
- Sen. Marty Quinn (R-Claremore)
- Rep. Dustin Roberts (R-Durant)
- Chris Schiller
- Johnny Teehee
- Erick Wyatt
NonDoc’s debate series is supported by financial sponsors like the State Chamber of Oklahoma, AARP Oklahoma, McSpadden, Milner & Robinson, the Oklahoma Public School Resource Center, Overman Legal Group and the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS.
As part of NonDoc’s broader 2022 public debate series, the following primary election debates have also been scheduled:
- Regulation Conversation: A Republican primary debate for Corporation Commission (June 7)
- Subpoena Power: Two primary debates for Oklahoma County DA (June 15)
- Law School: A Republican primary debate for attorney general (June 16)
- Roll Call: A Republican primary debate for state superintendent (June 22)
Background on the CD 2 race
CD 2 covers much of eastern Oklahoma and also much of the territory affected by McGirt v. Oklahoma and subsequent court decisions affirming the continued existence of Indian Country reservations within Oklahoma.
The McGirt decision has raised a number of as-yet unanswered questions about legal jurisdictions in the criminal and civil realms.
Seeking to limit or reverse McGirt has been a central focus of Gov. Kevin Stitt’s administration since the decision was handed down, in 2020, and questions about the topic are central to the CD 2 race.
The district is the state’s only open seat in this year’s races for the U.S. House of Representatives. It is being vacated by U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, who first won the office in 2012 and is now running to replace Jim Inhofe in the U.S. Senate.
The race is dominated by Republicans, with only one Democratic candidate and one Independent among the 16 running. The 14 Republicans are heading into a primary election June 28, with an Aug. 23 GOP runoff all but certain.
The winner of the Republican nomination will face Democrat Naomi Andrews and independent Ben Robinson in the Nov. 8 general election.