Senate District 31
From left: Spencer Kern, Pamela McNall-Granier and Rick Wolfe are vying for the open seat left by Chris Kidd's retirement. (NonDoc)

The controversial decision of incumbent Sen. Chris Kidd to file for reelection but withdraw from consideration opened the door for other candidates to make their case to represent Senate District 31, which covers much of Stephens, Love, Jefferson, Cotton and Comanche counties in southwest Oklahoma.

Kidd (R-Waurika) has represented SD 31 since 2016, but he said financial pressures led him to opt out of the race and spend more time supporting his family. He called concerns about his residency in the district unfounded.

Now, three Republican candidates are vying to replace him: Spencer Kern, Pamela McNall-Granier and Rick Wolfe. No others filed to run for the seat, so whoever prevails in the Republican primary will win the election outright. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote June 18, the race will go to an Aug. 27 runoff between the top two candidates.

McNall-Granier has described her bid for SD 31 as grassroots.

“I am humbled at the number of great people standing in support of me,” she wrote on Facebook last month. “To each and every one of you, thank you. Please stand with us as we challenge the status quo and stand firm in protecting our God-given rights.”

Wolfe, who has made protecting rural Oklahoma among his biggest priorities, received an endorsement from Gov. Kevin Stitt earlier this year.

“I am endorsing Rick Wolfe for Senate District 31 because he is a political outsider and a small businessman who will join me in cutting taxes, limiting government, and protecting parents’ voices in our Oklahoma schools,” Stitt wrote in a statement. “He is guided by his Christian convictions and his passion for our state as a fifth-generation Oklahoman. As a strong conservative, we can count on Wolfe to make decisions for the next generation and not the next election.”

Kidd said he filed for reelection but withdrew and endorsed Kern because he wanted “to make sure I had someone that I felt comfortable with.” Kern has also been endorsed by former Sen. Don Barrington (R-Lawton).

The following cheat sheet for the Senate District 31 Republican primary election includes information from publicly available sources, such as campaign websites and social media. Candidates are presented in alphabetical order.

For the June 18 primary election, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Early voting takes place June 13 through June 15.

Spencer Kern

Senate District 31
Spencer Kern is a Republican candidate for Oklahoma Senate District 31 in 2024. (Provided)

Age: 55

Profession/background: Kern owns R&S Drugstores and has also worked extensively in agriculture. He and his family operate Prescribed Hunts, an upland game bird hunting preserve, and a farm in Indiahoma.

Platform: Among Kern’s priorities if elected are making sure Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry continues to thrive through the reduction of regulation and creating an environment across the state that encourages entrepreneurship and small business ownership. According to his campaign materials, Kern would also work to protect and strengthen the state’s agricultural industry.

Online: Website | Facebook

Pamela McNall-Granier

Senate District 31
Pamela McNall-Granier is a Republican candidate for Oklahoma Senate District 31 in 2024. (Provided)

Age: 56

Profession/background: A disabled Navy veteran, McNall-Granier is a rancher and small business owner.

Platform: Platform items noted in her campaign materials include school choice policies and making sure parents have rights when it comes to vaccinations, along with protecting gun ownership rights guaranteed in the Constitution. She has been endorsed by the Oklahoma 2nd Amendment Association and Oklahomans for Health and Parents Rights.

Online: Facebook

Rick Wolfe

Rick Wolfe is running as a Republican candidate for Oklahoma Senate District 31 in 2024. (Provided)

Age: 59

Profession/background: Wolfe has owned businesses “ranging from car washes to BBQ franchises,” according to his campaign website.

Platform: Wolfe’s priorities include protecting adults and children from fentanyl, as well as expanding support for Oklahoma’s rural communities. He also opposes foreign ownership of land in Oklahoma, and he wants to create an “Oklahoma first” environment when it comes to the state’s economy. In a May 29 video on Facebook, Wolfe said the top question he gets at the door is whether he is Christian, which he said he is. He said the Iran hostage crisis marked his first interest in politics.

Online: Website | Facebook