The race to the Nov. 4 general election starts in earnest Tuesday as voters across the state go to the polls to select their parties’ candidates for numerous local, statewide and federal offices.
Some of the races will be decided in this primary election because candidates drew no opponents.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The marquee races — based on the amount of television air time they are receiving — are the battles for the Republican nominations for U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn’s seat and for state schools superintendent.
In the Senate race, U.S. Rep. James Lankford, of Oklahoma City, and state Rep. T.W. Shannon, of Lawton, are battling for the Republican nomination. Other Republican contenders are Randy Brogdon, of Tulsa; Jason Weger, of Norman; Kevin Crow, of Chickasha; Eric McCray, of Broken Arrow; and Andy Craig, of Broken Arrow.
Contenders on the Democratic side are state Sen. Connie Johnson, of Oklahoma City; Patrick Michael Hayes, of Anadarko; and Jim Rogers, of Midwest City.
Coburn announced he would step down halfway through his term, setting off a chain reaction through Oklahoma’s political ranks, with several officeholders leaving seemingly safe positions to seek a higher post.
If no contestant receives more than 50 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s primary, the top two vote-getters will advance to a runoff Aug. 26. Otherwise, winners would advance to the general election.
In the state schools superintendent race, incumbent Janet Barresi, of Oklahoma City, is being challenged in the Republican primary by Joy Hofmeister, of Tulsa, and Brian S. Kelly, of Edmond.
The eventual winner of that race will face one of four Democratic challengers: Jack C. Herron Jr., of Norman; John Cox, of Hulbert; Freda Deskin, of Edmond; or Ivan Holmes, of Oklahoma City.
Tuesday’s ballot also includes a crowded race for Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District, and contests in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th districts.
Two statewide offices will be decided Tuesday. Insurance Commissioner John Doak, of Tulsa, faces challenger Bill Viner, of Moore.
And a state Corporation Commission seat will be filled when Cliff Branan, of Oklahoma City, squares off against Todd Hiett, of Kellyville.
In both of those races, no Democrats filed, meaning the winners of the Republican primaries will claim the seats.
Live election results will be available once polls close through the state Election Board website, www.ok.gov/elections.