Oklahoma elections: Paddack, Barresi easily carry primaries

A lifelong classroom teacher will make the race for state superintendent of schools a three party election in November.
By Megan Rolland Modified: July 28, 2010 at 1:00 am •  Published: July 28, 2010

In a race to replace perennial Sandy Garrett as the state's superintendent of education, two candidates roared out of the primaries Tuesday, while an independent quietly works below the fray for November.

Susan Paddack, a two-term Democratic senator from Ada, defeated retired Superintendent Jerry Combrink with a substantial margin, claiming 73 percent with all but one precinct reporting.

"The strong show of support, I think, gives us the momentum going into the general election," Paddack said.

In the Republican primary, Janet Barresi, a charter school founder from Edmond, defeated Brian Kelly, taking 63 percent of the votes with all but one precinct reporting.

"We're going to take just a little bit of time to celebrate, then, we're back to work," Barresi said. "I didn't get in this race to just be the Republican nominee. I got in this race to really change children's lives."

On Nov. 2, Barresi and Paddack will face independent candidate Richard Cooper, who has spent most of his 29-year career as a classroom teacher.

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