Incumbents continued to hold strong in the Senate as lawmakers retained their seats and candidates battled to fill the seats of term-limited legislators.
Three incumbents kept their seats and primary elections decided the outcome in six races in the Senate. Only one Republican incumbent will face a Democrat challenger in November.
Republican Sen. Anthony Sykes, of Moore, beat his opponent Linda Molsbee with 5,060 votes, or 77 percent of the vote, with all precincts reporting, according to the state Election Board.
In Senate District 28, Sen. Harry Coates, R-Seminole, beat Tim Clem by getting 2,898 votes, or 54 percent of the vote, with all precincts reporting. Clem received 2,434 votes, or 46 percent of the vote.
Democrat Sen. Connie Johnson held her northeastern Oklahoma City seat and avoided a runoff election by receiving 4,293 votes, or 68 percent of the vote, in a race that included three other opponents.
Sen. Cliff Aldridge, R-Midwest City, beat James Lane with 4,213 votes, or 76 percent of the vote, with all precincts reporting. Aldridge will face Democrat Mike Kelly in the fall.
In another Oklahoma City district, David Holt, chief of staff to the Oklahoma City mayor, got 5,125 votes, or 64 percent of the vote, in the race to fill the Senate District 30 seat vacated by term-limited Senate President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee. Holt, a Republican, wins the seat since there is not Democrat challenger.
The primary also determined the winner of the Senate District 22 race where Rep. Rob Johnson, R-Kingfisher, received 5,214 votes, or 54 percent of the vote, in a field of three candidates to fill his father Sen. Mike Johnson's Senate seat. The elder Johnson is prohibited from running again because of term limits.
Across the state there were several battles among Republican and Democrat candidates seeking their party's nominations to fill seats vacated by term-limited lawmakers and legislators seeking a higher office.
In the Tulsa area, Republican Rick Brinkley beat Tim Coager with 65 percent of the vote to fill the Senate District 34 seat vacated by Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso. Brogdon lost the Republican nomination for governor to U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin on Tuesday.
In Senate District 14, former state Sen. Darryl Roberts took the Democrat nomination with 52 percent of the vote after a tight race against Donna Spring. Republicans in that southern Oklahoma district nominated Frank Simpson. The seat had been held by longtime Democrat lawmaker Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield, who was term-limited.
A runoff election will be held in Senate District 44, where Republicans James Davenport and Ralph Shortey emerged as the top vote getters from a field of four candidates. The runoff election will be Aug. 24. The seat was vacated by Democrat Sen. Debbe Leftwich, who announced she would not seek another term at the end of the legislative session.
Republicans continued to hold the majority in the Senate that was split 26-22 during the last legislative session. After Democrat Liz Donnelly dropped out of the race against Republican Sen. Cliff Branan, Republicans are poised to have at least 25 seats in the Senate.
Donnelly, the associate vice president of student affairs at the Oklahoma City University, withdrew her name from the ballot Tuesday afternoon.
"The rigors of running a competitive campaign against a strong incumbent took their toll on her and her family," said Sarah Taylor, communications director for the Oklahoma State Senate Democrat political action committee.
Republicans also retained five Senate seats because Republican incumbents were unopposed, challengers withdrew from the race or the candidacy of their opponents was successfully challenged.
"This guarantees at least 25 Republicans will return to the Senate next year," said Sen. Brian Bingman, R-Tulsa, chairman of the Oklahoma State Senate Republicans. "Mathematically, we have not only secured the majority but this reaffirms that we are on the offensive."