WASHINGTON — Army veteran Steve Russell and Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas headed for a runoff after finishing atop a crowded field in Tuesday’s Republican primary to replace U.S. Rep. James Lankford in the 5th District.
With all precincts reporting, Russell, of Oklahoma City, had 26.6 percent, and Douglas, of Edmond, had 24.5 percent. They will go head-to-head in the Aug. 26 runoff. State Sen. Clark Jolley, of Edmond, was third in the six-person field with 17 percent.
The 5th District includes most of Oklahoma County and Pottawatomie and Seminole counties. Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, left the seat open when he ran for the U.S. Senate this year; it was the third time since 2006 that the seat was open and crowded with Republican hopefuls.
The Democratic contest for Lankford’s seat will need a runoff. With all precincts counted, retired professor Tom Guild, of Edmond, had 42.1 percent and state Sen. Al McAffrey, of Oklahoma City, had 30.9 percent.
With similar talking points against the Affordable Care Act and federal government “overreach,” the Republicans running for the 5th District seat offered little distinguishing political philosophy, so they focused on their experience.
Douglas, 51, pitched her time as an attorney for the family’s sheet metal business to prove her familiarity and sympathy with the private sector.
Russell, 51, a retired U.S. Army Ranger whose unit in Iraq hunted down Saddam Hussein, talked about his military service and his term in the state Senate, where he authored legislation benefiting veterans. Russell raised about $200,000 and got $88,000 in help from an Iowa-based political action committee called America’s PAC that touts support for conservatives.