These are good times for incumbent politicians. Any notion of a throw-the-bums-out sentiment is discounted by the fact that many incumbents will get a free ride this election year.
Not only did nearly 60 percent of state House members and about a third of state senators draw no opponents, but more than half of county offices were uncontested. The slate of public officials will thus be much the same a year from now as it is now.
Challengers play off voter discontent with incumbents. Apparently there isn't much discontent. When the three-day candidate filing period closed on Friday the 13th, only a few name-brand incumbents were unlucky enough to face an election.
One of them is Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel, now seeking his fifth term. Despite being a Democratic sheriff in a Republican-dominated county government, Whetsel has survived election after election. He faces Republican Darrell Sorrells in November.
County Clerk Carolynn Caudill, a Republican, drew no opponent. The open court clerk seat, held by retiring Democrat Patricia Presley, drew five candidates — all Republicans. GOP County Commissioner Brian Maughan drew only one challenger, also a Republican.
Thus a lean general election ballot for Oklahoma County offices will feature only one race.
Two years ago, Democratic District Attorney David Prater drew no challengers despite having pledged to prosecute Jerome Ersland for killing a youth in the act of robbing the pharmacy where Ersland worked. The druggist was convicted of first-degree murder. We'll see in two years whether anger over that conviction is enough to oust Prater, should he choose to run again.
Voter wrath against President Obama will be on full display in Oklahoma come November. Some of this could spill over into the crowded race to replace U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, the only Democrat in the congressional delegation — and the only Oklahoma general election race of interest outside the state this year.