In Oklahoma's primary election Tuesday, several races will determine who wins office because only candidates from one political party filed. In other races, incumbents have been targeted by challengers because the officeholders allegedly are not conservative enough.
Statewide, the Republican race for corporation commissioner will be decisive because no Democrat filed. Incumbent Bob Anthony faces former commission employee Brooks Mitchell. The Oklahoman believes Anthony is the better candidate.
In congressional races, Republican primaries in the 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts are the most competitive. In the 1st District, incumbent U.S. Rep. John Sullivan faces a spirited challenge from Jim Bridenstine. In the 2nd District, six Republicans are vying to replace Democrat Dan Boren, who chose not to seek re-election. The district is considered a potential pickup for the GOP this fall. Two Democrats are seeking their party's 2nd District nomination.
Incumbent U.S. Reps. Frank Lucas (3rd District) and Tom Cole (4th) also face primary opponents but should win easily.
In the state Senate, four incumbent Republican senators face primary challenges that largely pit a conservative against a, well, more conservative candidate. In the state House, 15 incumbent lawmakers from both parties face primary challenges — although far more Republicans face intraparty challengers than do Democrats.
In the Edmond area, GOP voters will decide several important Republican primaries. State Sen. Clark Jolley faces insurgent Paul Blair. State Rep. Marian Cooksey faces Bob Dani and state Rep. Guy Liebmann faces Mike Turner.
Seven state Senate races are open seats with no incumbent, as are 18 state House seats, offering voters a chance to chart a new course regardless of candidates' partisan affiliations.
Turnout will be key. Because of single-party filing, these primary elections will impact the direction of our state. We encourage registered Democrats and Republicans to vote. In a democracy, your opinion matters more when you do.