The Democratic nominee for a Senate seat that covers part of south Oklahoma City was determined Friday while a challenge was filed contesting the candidacy of one of the two Republican candidates seeking the post.
Kenneth Meador, of Moore, became the Democratic nominee for the Senate District 43 position when Democrat Larry Foster withdrew from the race.
“I just had second thoughts,” said Foster, of Del City, who works as a sandblaster at Tinker Air Force Base.
Republican candidates are Greg Childers, of Del City, and Theresa Nelson, of Oklahoma City. Senate District 43 covers southern Oklahoma County and northern Cleveland County.
Nelson, 45, filed papers about 30 minutes before Friday's 5 p.m. deadline, challenging Childers' candidacy.
She said he can't seek the post because he either is a federal employee who can't seek a partisan office or is a state employee who can't seek public office.
She also said Childers can't file for his post while he still works for the University of Oklahoma because of an internal OU policy. The policy states any member of the faculty or staff of the university “who becomes a candidate in any primary or general election for any county, state or federal office or announces his/her candidacy for any of said offices shall first offer his/her resignation to the board of regents, without reservation.”
Childers, 41, issued a statement Friday saying he recently resigned his position as a contractor for OU at the National Center for Employee Development, previously known as the Postal Training Center, in Norman.
The state Election Board will meet Tuesday to hear Nelson's challenge.
If Nelson is unsuccessful, she'll oppose Childers in the Republican primary election Aug. 9. If she is, she and Meador will square off in the Oct. 11 general election.
The winner will serve the remaining year left in the District 43 seat. The position is up for election again in 2012.
The Senate District 43 seat was reconfigured and will be moved as part of the Senate redistricting plan that was approved this year. The plan establishes the districts for a 10-year period beginning January 2013.
The seat is now held by Sen. Jim Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City. Reynolds was elected Cleveland County's treasurer in November. He will resign his post July 1 and will start his new duties in early July.
The Senate District 43 post will be up for election again in November 2012, although it will move south to McClain, Garvin and Stephens counties
Childers, who graduated from Del City High School, said he was raised in the Duncan area. If he wins the post, he plans to move to the Duncan area and next year run for the full four-year term of Senate District 43, a spokeswoman said.
Nelson, a single mother seeking public office for the first time, also accused Senate Republican leaders of backing Childers. But Sen. Mike Mazzei, R-
If elected, Nelson said she wouldn't move to seek re-election to the Senate District 43 post. She wouldn't comment on whether she would seek an open Senate seat in her area, saying she wanted to focus on this year's election.
Meador, 30, is a college student after serving three tours as a combat medic in Iraq. He said he wasn't planning to move to the new Senate District 43 area to seek re-election if he won the post, but kept open the possibility of seeking an open Senate seat next year.
All three contenders are political newcomers. The perceived front-runner in the race, state Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, R-Moore, filed for the seat Monday, but dropped out Wednesday.