Democratic nominee set in special Senate District 43 race

A challenge has been filed against one of the two Republican contenders seeking the post that covers parts of Oklahoma and Cleveland counties.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: June 18, 2011

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.