The two Democrats still in the race for state schools superintendent took in close to $300,000 each through Aug. 11, their latest campaign reports show.
John Cox and Freda Deskin are on next week’s runoff ballot. The winner will face Republican candidate Joy Hofmeister in November’s general election.
Cox raised $299,746 as of Aug. 11 while Deskin raised $283,654, the reports show. Both spent most of their campaign funds.
Cox, superintendent of Peggs Public Schools, loaned almost $69,000 to his campaign. Deskin, a longtime educator and the founder of ASTEC Charter School in Oklahoma City, loaned her campaign $46,154.
Hofmeister, of Tulsa, raised $616,573 but only had $27,921 left Aug. 11, her report shows.
The incumbent, Republican Janet Barresi, came in third in the June primary election, despite loaning her 2014 campaign almost $1.3 million.
There were a few surprises in the latest campaign contribution reports filed at the state Ethics Commission. The reports were due Monday.
The biggest surprise came in the governor’s race. Democrat Joe Dorman outraised the Republican incumbent, Mary Fallin, over the two-month period covered in the latest reports.
Dorman, a state representative from Rush Springs, raised $267,310 between June 10 and Aug. 11 while Fallin raised $239,677.
Dorman called his success more evidence that hard-working Oklahomans have become disillusioned with Fallin. “Oklahomans realize how, in all aspects, Fallin has failed the state,” he said.
Overall, Dorman has raised $654,026 and had $142,423 left as of Aug. 11. Fallin has raised $3,291,225 and had $1,139,249 left as of Aug. 11.
A spokesman for Fallin pointed out her campaign had almost 10 times more in the bank than Dorman’s campaign.
“Also, if you look at our expenditures, we are spending that cash in a way that actually gets our message out to the voters,” said the spokesman, Alex Weintz. “Dorman is spending a lot on consultants. We’ve been spending on advertisements to reach millions of voters and on a ...bus tour, getting the governor around the state so she can meet with as many people as possible.”
In another surprise, an Oklahoma City physician, Ervin Yen, has out-raised pastor Steve Kern almost 4-1 in the race for Senate District 40 despite Kern’s greater name recognition.
Yen has raised $227,793 as of Aug. 11 while Kern has raised $59,247. Kern is senior pastor at Olivet Baptist Church and the husband of state Rep. Sally Kern.
Both Yen and Steve Kern are Republicans. The winner of next week’s runoff election will face Democrat John Handy Edwards in the general election.
In other runoff races, retired Oklahoma City police officer Paula Sophia has raised $99,873 as of Aug. 11 in her bid for the House District 88 seat. Sophia is trying to become the state’s first transgender legislator.
Her opponent, former pastor Jason Dunnington, has raised $65,889.
Both are Democrats. There are no Republican or independent candidates in the House District 88 race, so the runoff election will determine who gets the seat.
Republican Mark Thomas raised $29,558 as of Aug. 11 in his campaign for Senate District 22, which covers the eastern half of Canadian County and the northwest part of Oklahoma County.
Stephanie Bice, also a Republican, has raised $102,746. The winner of the runoff election wins the seat because no Democrats or independent candidates filed in Senate District 22.
Contributing: Rick M. Green, Capitol Bureau