This is a Presidential election year. This means that roughly 1.5 times as many people who voted in 2010 will vote this year. For some reason, people seem to think that voting in Presidential years is far more important than voting in State elections. Personally, I think it is the other way around, but that is me. That said, this is who and what we will be seeing on the ballot this November.
I had previously written about the primaries and had wanted to cover this earlier, but had put it off. Since all challenges and run-offs are over, now seems as good a time as any. If you are curious on how the run-offs ended, you can view the results (PDF).
The three sections that will bring out all Oklahoma voters (at least those that care to show up) are the Presidential Elections, elections for each US Congressman and the State Questions. So here is what voters will see:
- Republican Candidate Mitt Romney
- Democratic Incumbent Barack Obama
While there were efforts to get third party options on the ballot, all those attempts failed. This will be the third presidential election in a row in which Oklahoma will be the only state in the nation limited to two choices.
There are six state questions on the ballot this year. These are opportunities for Oklahomans to express their support or opposition to certain changes in law or amendments to the State’s Constitution. I will be going more in depth on these in the coming weeks.
- SQ 758 Ad Valorem Taxation Limitation on Valuation Increases
- SQ 759 Prohibits certain preferential treatment or discrimination
- SQ 762 Modifies the power and authority of the Governor and Pardon and Parole Board in the parole process for nonviolent offenders
- SQ 764 Creates the Water Infrastructure Credit Enhancement Reserve Fund; allows the OWRB to issue bonds
- SQ 765 Repeals sections of the Constitution relating to the Department of Public Welfare, its commission and director; grants the Legislature the authority to create and direct the administration of a department to provide for public welfare
- SQ 766 Exempts all intangible personal property from ad valorem taxation
US House of Representatives
Oklahoma has five US House districts. Each District is at least three-way race between a Republican, Democrat and Independent. One District has two Independents running.
House District 1 saw Incumbent John Sullivan lose in the Republican Primary. The Race is now between the following three contenders
- Republican Jim Bridenstine
- Democrat John Olson
- Independent Craig Allen
House District 2 saw Democratic Incumbent Dan Boren retire. His seat was heavily fought for in the primaries with both the Republican and Democratic races going into a run-off. The race ended with these three.
- Republican Markwayne Mullin
- Democrat Rob Wallace
- Independent Michael G. Fulks
House District 3 has a three-way race as follows.
- Incumbent Republican Frank D. Lucas
- Democrat Timothy Ray Murray
- Independent William M. Sanders
House District 4 has a three-way race as follows.
- Incumbent Republican Tom Cole
- Democrat Donna Marie Bebo
- Independent RJ Harris
House District 5 has a four-way race between the following.
- Incumbent Republican James Lankford
- Democrat Tom Guild
- Independent Pat Martin
- Independent Robert T. Murphy
Those are the US House races. And those three sections make up the largest draw in the coming election. The rest of the races are for State House, Senate and Judges. There will also be some county races as well.
I have just a few comments to make on these races. I will defer to this PDF of who will be on the ballot as a reference. I don’t want to repeat too much of that information there.
On the State Senate side, there are a total of 12 districts holding elections this November. Oklahoma has a total of 48 districts with half of them coming up for election every 2 years. So this year, one quarter of the Senate seats were either unchallenged or decided in the primaries. The other quarter will come up for a vote in November.
The State Senate races are also home to the only Independent candidates running for state office. These candidates are running in districts 11, 27, and 41. It is not really a surprise to see so few Independents running as Oklahoma has a vast history of marginalizing and disenfranchising this portion of the populace.
On the State House side, we have 34 districts coming up for a vote, or one third the total of house seats. The other 66 districts were either unchallenged or decided in the Primaries. A good majority of those seats went to Republicans. There are no Independents running for State House.
So that’s it. As more information comes to light over the next few weeks, I will comment more in depth. The Federal elections and the State elections with Independents are the most interesting for me, outside my own State Senate and State House district races of course.