legislative runoffs
The Oklahoma State Capitol is located at 2300 N. Lincoln Boulevard in Oklahoma City. (Michael Duncan)

The only incumbent member of the Oklahoma Legislature up for reelection survived, and the two most extreme candidates in GOP legislative runoffs lost Tuesday night.

Sen. Darcy Jech (R-Kingfisher) won his reelection bid by finishing with 52.29 percent of the vote in Senate District 26 against challenger Brady Butler, who criticized legislative leadership during his campaign and called for an end to the separation of church and state. This will be Jech’s third and final term representing SD 26, which now includes the communities of Weatherford and Clinton following recent redistricting.

SD 26 was one of four Senate districts that had a Republican runoff Tuesday, and the other three were for open seats. In Claremore’s Senate District 2, Ally Seifried received 53.89 percent of the vote over Jarrin Jackson, a controversial candidate who drew national headlines for unusual campaign videos and hateful comments about Jewish people and the LGBTQ community. Jackson had received an endorsement from Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake, but Lake withdrew her endorsement in the closing days of the the SD 2 race, citing Jackson’s history of controversial remarks. (Seifried will face Democrat Jennifer Esau in November.)

Speaking of controversial remarks, former Department of Public Safety employee Scott Esk fell short in his bid for the Republican nomination in northwest Oklahoma City’s House District 87. Esk, who criticized media for reporting his past comments about stoning LGBTQ people, lost to Gloria Bannister, who received 57.94 percent of the vote. (Bannister will face Democrat Ellyn Hefner in the HD 87 general election.)

In eastern Oklahoma’s Senate District 4, Tom Woods overcame questions about derogatory remarks he made regarding mental health care to prevailing with 59.56 percent of the vote against Keith Barenberg. With no Democrat or other candidate filing in SD 4, Woods will be sworn into the State Senate to succeed Sen. Mark Allen (R-Poteau) in November.

In an open race for Senate District 28, Grant Green earned 53.8 percent of the vote against Jeff McCommas. The Seminole County and Lincoln County district was vacated when Sen. Zack Taylor (R-Seminole) chose not to seek reelection. Green will face Democrat Karen Rackley in November.

The results for legislative runoffs posted by the Oklahoma State Election Board online are unofficial until they are certified by the board.

Three new legislators elected Tuesday

Six other Oklahoma House legislative runoffs were decided Tuesday. Three of those districts will see general elections in November, while three were decided outright in the Republican primary runoff.

In House District 13’s GOP runoff, Neil Hays prevailed with 59.23 percent of the vote over Carlisa Rogers. Hays will face Democrat Jimmy Haley in November for the Muskogee seat vacated by Rep. Avery Frix, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress.

In House District 21’s GOP runoff, Cody Maynard received 51.09 percent of the vote over Dustin Reid. No Democrat filed for the Durant-area seat vacated by term-limited Rep. Dustin Roberts, who also ran unsuccessfully for Congress. That means Maynard will be sworn into office in November.

In House District 31’s GOP runoff, Collin Duel prevailed with 52.46 percent of the vote over Karmin Grider. No Democrat filed for the Guthrie-area seat vacated by Rep. Garry Mize, who chose not to run for reelection. Duel will be sworn into office in November.

The GOP runoff for House District 34 was the closest race of the night, with Michael Baughman edging out Andrew Muchmore by only 12 votes. Baughman will face incumbent Rep. Trish Ranson (D-Stillwater) in November.

In the newly relocated House District 36, former president of the Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police John George was elected over Anita Raglin. George received 61.36 percent of the vote in the eastern Oklahoma County district. No Democrat filed for the seat, so George will be sworn into office in November.

In House District 66’s GOP runoff, Clay Staires received 55.87 percent of the vote over Gabe Renfrow. HD 66 has been represented by the term-limied Rep. Jadine Nolan (R-Sand Springs). Staires will face Democrat James Rankin in November.