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Oklahoma elections: James Lankford defeats Kevin Calvey in GOP congressional runoff

By Chris Casteel Modified: August 24, 2010 at 9:43 pm •  Published: August 24, 2010

Newcomer James Lankford completed his sweep on Tuesday of Republican foes with political experience, easily dispatching former state lawmaker Kevin Calvey in the GOP runoff for the congressional district that includes Oklahoma City.

Calvey conceded the race about 8:15 p.m.

With about two-thirds of precincts reporting, Lankford had 16,546 votes, or 64 percent to Calvey's 9,431 votes.

He goes into the general election campaign as the odds-on favorite since the district, even with boundary changes, hasn't elected a Democrat since 1974 and that one _ the late John Jarman _ switched to the GOP in 1975.

Oklahoma City attorney Billy Coyle won the Democratic nomination last month for the 5th District seat; Independents Dave White and Clark Duffe, of Edmond, will also be on the general election ballot. The 5th District includes most of Oklahoma County and Seminole and Pottawatomie Counties.

Lankford, who directed a Bapitst youth camp for 13 years, won the Republican nomination in a two-round process in which he defeated three current or former members of the Oklahoma Legislature. He easily defeated state Reps. Shane Jett and Mike Thompson, along with three other candidates, in the July 27 primary before defeating Calvey on Tuesday.

Lankford edged Calvey by just 613 votes in the first round, but clearly had momentum on his side in the days leading up to Tuesday's contest.