Several weeks remain until the Aug. 28 runoff elections. Turnout could be very low, which is unfortunate since several races will be decided that day.
We encourage citizens to not only go to the polls, but also research their choices. Runoffs provide primary voters a valuable opportunity to reassess candidates.
For example, GOP candidate Ed Moore is seeking election to Shawnee's state Senate seat. Moore once served a single term in the state Senate where he was absent for 71.7 percent of votes in 1984. Today he calls that “a boycott of the legislative practice.” In subsequent races, Moore's candidacy has been opposed by GOP state senators who served with him and Republican Party county chairs. In 1992, a preacher accused Moore of stealing a mailing list from his organization to use for Moore's fundraising efforts. It's up to voters to evaluate those allegations and past behavior.
Likewise, state Rep. Charles Key, R-Bethany, is in a GOP runoff for Oklahoma County court clerk. Key has long argued the federal government had previous knowledge of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. His conspiracy theory took him places few would go, including a Missouri gathering where neo-Nazi and racist pamphlets were sold. Key's use of a state computer and state credit card for an “independent investigation” of the bombing raised ethics concerns.
In the past, runoffs have led voters to reject flawed primary leaders, including Key in his 1998 House race. John Crawford was elected insurance commissioner in 1994 but lost re-election after becoming the target of an FBI investigation. He sought the office again in 2010, but lost the GOP nod in a runoff.
Those examples stand out more than most, but voters should carefully investigate every candidate seeking office. Your vote truly matters, so take the vetting process seriously.