Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin won an easy victory for the Republican nomination for the 5th District congressional seat on Tuesday, defeating Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett in a run-off primary.
Fallin had 26,744 votes, or 63.1 percent, and Cornett had 15,665 votes, or 36.9 percent. The mayor conceded with a little more than two-thirds of the vote counted.
“This is a celebration tonight, but our work is not finished,” Fallin told her cheering supporters at her watch party in Oklahoma City. “We still have one more election to go in November. We’re going to continue to hit the street, talk about the issues and visit with the people of Oklahoma and continue our message forward about faith, family and freedom and the principles I believe are on the hearts and the minds of our fellow Oklahomans.”
Cornett called Fallin to concede at about 8:30 p.m. after spending 10 minutes circulating around his watch party shaking hands and thanking supporters.
Cornett pledged his full support to Fallin and said he plans to continue to work with her on city issues.
“She took on five really good opponents, and she won easily,” Cornett said. “To start trying to figure out what our campaign did wrong really detracts from the fact that she was pretty much unbeatable.”
Fallin, 51, who has been lieutenant governor since 1995, will face Democrat David Hunter, an Oklahoma City physician making his first run for office, and Independent Matthew Woodson in the Nov. 7 general election. If she wins, she will be just the second woman to represent Oklahoma in Congress. The first, Alice Robertson, who was also a Republican, served a single term more than 80 years ago.
Cornett, 48, became the second Oklahoma City mayor in two years to lose a bid for higher office in a Republican primary. In 2004, Kirk Humphreys was defeated in the GOP primary for an open U.S. Senate seat ultimately won by Muskogee Republican Tom Coburn.
The 5th District seat includes most of Oklahoma County and Pottawatomie and Seminole counties. Rep. Ernest Istook, R-Warr Acres, who has held the seat since 1993, is retiring to run for governor this year.
Fallin had to beat a crowded field of some well-known Republicans to get the nomination. In the July 25 primary, she led with 35 percent of the vote against Cornett, Corporation Commissioner Denise Bode, state Reps. Fred Morgan and Kevin Calvey and surgeon Johnny Roy.