Democrat, Republican matchups highlight Tuesday's 2nd Congressional District primary election
Democratic Rep. Dan Boren's retirement has produced interesting primary contests in two parties, while Rep. John Sullivan is working to withstand a stiff Republican challenge.
Democrats at war
The Democratic primary in the 2nd District turned negative last week when Rob Wallace and Wayne Herriman went public with their opposition research — dredged up old business records that both candidates said misrepresented the truth.
Herriman, a seed company owner from Muskogee, is campaigning as a fresh face and using much of his own money to tout the business experience he could take to Washington.
Wallace, a former district attorney and state prosecutor from Fort Gibson, is running on a vow to protect Medicare from Republican budget-cutters and Oklahoma water from out-of-state interests.
The third candidate in the race, Earl E. Everett, a retired teacher from Fort Gibson, has not run a campaign, but depending on the closeness of the race, could force a runoff on the Democratic side if he keeps Wallace or Herriman from getting just over 50 percent of the vote.
Incumbent Reps. Tom Cole, R-Moore; Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne; and John Sullivan, R-Tulsa, all face primary challenges on Tuesday, though only Sullivan has an opponent who has mounted a serious campaign.
U.S. Navy Reserve pilot Jim Bridenstine, of Tulsa, has sought to portray Sullivan as ineffective and has accused him of “erratic and aggressive behavior.”
Sullivan has aggressively attacked Bridenstine, and has collected tens of thousands of dollars from Washington-based interests in the past week that could overwhelm the newcomer's resources.
Cole is being challenged by Gary D. Caissie, of Norman; while Lucas' opponent is William Craig Stump, of Drumright.
Democratic newcomer Donna Bebo, of Frederick, is running against Bert Smith, of Moore, in the 4th District primary; Smith previously ran in the 5th District, which includes Oklahoma City.
Frankie Robbins, of Medford, who has run previously in the 3rd District, is facing Timothy Ray Murray, of Guthrie, in that district's Democratic primary on Tuesday.