November races shape up following runoff results

Steve Russell (Shannon Cornman)

Steve Russell (Shannon Cornman)

Tuesday’s primary runoff elections solidified contests for the November general election, while a few races determined the ultimate winner by default.

In a primary election process that began in June, and did not allow for the votes of registered independents, Steve Russell, a war veteran and business owner, beat former Edmond mayor and corporations commissioner Patrice Douglas in the Republican primary for the 5th Congressional district.

“Regular people of regular means can still be elected,” Russell told his supporters Tuesday night, pegging Douglas as the big-money and establishment candidate, a theme the Russell campaign carried for most of the campaign.

Russell now moves on to face Al McAffrey, who beat Tom Guild in the Democratic primary runoff by nine points. While the 5th Congressional District has trended more Democratic in recent years, it is still considered a Republican safehold as it’s been over 40 years since the GOP candidate failed to win the seat.

“Our journey isn’t over,” McAffrey said after his victory. “This is only a milestone on our path to Congress.”

The 5th District includes most of the Oklahoma City metro and is currently representative by Rep. James Lankford who won the June Republican primary for the U.S. Senate. Facing Lankford in November will be Democrat Connie Johnson who beat Jim Rogers in a runoff Tuesday.

Another statewide race that took shape is the election for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Joy Hoffmeister beat incumbent Janet Barresi in the Republican primary in June, and John Cox beat Freda Deskin on Tuesday for the Democratic nominee. Hoffmeister and Cox will square off in November in a race that will insure a new face in the state’s highest education position.

Other area runoff results include Shane Stone over Mary Sosa for the House District 89 Democratic primary, and George Young beat Eleanor Darden Thompson for the Democratic seat in House District 99. For Republicans, Ervin Yen beat Steve Kern in the Senate District 40 runoff, and Stephanie Bice advanced past Mark Thomas in Senate District 22.

“I think that people are looking for someone that can hold steadfast to principals but also be willing to compromise and negotiate,” Bice said. “I want to bring a little bit of a new fresh perspective and I think voters were looking for that.”

Ben Felder

Ben is an urban affairs reporter covering local government and education in Oklahoma City. He lives in OKC with his wife, Lori, and son, Satchel. Ben holds a masters in new media journalism from Full Sail University and is an OKC transplant from Kansas City, Mo. Twitter: @benfelder_okg

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