Oklahoma voters will set the lineup for the November general election Tuesday when they go to the polls to decide primary runoff races for Congress, the Oklahoma Legislature and state schools superintendent.
These contests feature the two top finishers in primary races where no candidate got more than half the votes.
The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
There’s a good chance Republican voters in the 5th Congressional District in Oklahoma, Pottawatomie and Seminole counties will select the person who will become Oklahoma’s newest U.S. representative. No Democrat has won this district in four decades, and the seat is considered safe for the GOP.
The Republican runoff will be between former Edmond Mayor Patrice Douglas, a lawyer and banker, and Steve Russell, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and former Oklahoma state senator. The Democratic runoff features retired college professor Tom Guild, of Edmond, against state Sen. Al McAffrey, of Oklahoma City.
The vacancy in the 5th District was created when Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, decided to run for the unexpired term of U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, who is stepping down two years early because of health concerns. Lankford won his primary outright and is the favorite in the general election against the winner of the Democratic runoff between state Sen. Connie Johnson, of Oklahoma City, and perennial candidate Jim Rogers, of Midwest City.
There also will be a Democratic runoff for state school superintendent featuring Peggs Public Schools Superintendent John Cox, who received 41 percent of the vote in the primary, and Astec Charter School founder and operator Freda Deskin, who got 38.2 percent. The winner faces Republican Joy Hofmeister in the general election.
Another interesting runoff will be in state House District 88 in Oklahoma City, where former pastor Jason Dunnington, who had 40 percent of the primary vote, faces Paula Sophia, a former police officer and U.S. Army veteran, who had 24 percent. Sophia is trying to become the state’s first transgender legislator. There is no Republican candidate in that district, so the winner gets the seat, as will be the case in several legislative runoffs.
On the Democratic side, there are three Oklahoma House runoffs and one in the Senate.
For the Republicans, there are two state Senate runoffs and six in the House.
The turnout in the June 24 primary was about 31 percent for Republicans and 20 percent for Democrats. The turnout usually decreases in a runoff.
Sample ballots and polling place information can be found on the state Election Board’s website — www.ok.gov/elections.