With eight races on the ballot for statewide offices, including the governorship, and with 11 state questions on the flip side of that ballot, five races for federal offices aren't getting much attention.
This is understandable given that only one of the five races is for an open seat and Republican U.S. Sen Tom Coburn has sub-token opposition in his bid for a second term.
Republican U.S. Reps. Frank Lucas and John Sullivan, and Democratic U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, are incumbents with proven records of serving the people of their districts. All three have earned another term. U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, has already been re-elected because no Democrat filed against him.
That leaves the 5th Congressional District seat being vacated by Mary Fallin, the Republican nominee for governor. Two good candidates emerged from the nominating process to face each other on Nov. 2. Both are newcomers to politics; both have had distinguished careers in the private sector. An independent is also in the race.
The central Oklahoma district has been served by a Republican for many years and we don't expect that to change. GOP nominee James Lankford is a former director of the Falls Creek camp in southern Oklahoma. He's making his first splash in politics. And what a splash he has made!
Lankford took on better-known and better-financed candidates in the Republican primary and runoff, winning the latter with 65 percent of the vote. District Republicans liked what they saw in Lankford, a man who has studied the issues and formed well-reasoned views on them.
Democratic nominee Billy Coyle is a former U.S. Marine Corps sergeant who has worked in a law firm since 2003. Coyle is quick to say he doesn't agree with the Obama administration on some issues, but his disagreements aren't immediately clear — perhaps due to his need to avoid alienating the minority of Oklahoma Democrats who support Obama.
Lankford is the better man for the job. As we noted in endorsing him for the GOP runoff, "He's a solid conservative but not a reactionary. He doesn't substitute ideology for intelligence."
On Nov. 2, The Oklahoman recommends voters retain U.S. House incumbents Frank Lucas, John Sullivan and Dan Boren as well as U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn. And we urge 5th District voters to make James Lankford their next congressmen.
Insurance commissioner: Kim Holland, Democrat.
Auditor and inspector: Steve Burrage, Democrat.
Labor commissioner: Mark Costello, Republican.
Oklahoma County: District 3 Commissioner Ray Vaughn, Republican, and District 1 Commissioner Willa Johnson, Democrat.