Federal Offices on 2018 Ballot
By: Constitution Staff
The U.S. Congress is composed of two chambers. Senators serve six-year terms with only a third of the seats up each election year. Each state has two seats in that upper chamber. All five Oklahoma seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are up each election year since they serve two-year terms. In 2018, the candidate filing period will be April 11-13. The Primary Election will be held on June 26, the Runoff Primary Election on August 28, and the General Election on November 6.
Neither of Oklahoma’s two U.S. Senate Seats are up for election in 2018. Senator Jim Inhofe was reelected in 2014 and his term will not expire until after 2020 election. Senator James Lankford was reelected in 2016 and his term will not be up until 2022.
U.S. House – Fist District
First District (Tulsa area) incumbent Republican Jim Bridenstine, 42, is not running for a fourth term. When he first ran for Congress, Jim Bridenstine pledged that if elected he would only serve three terms. Based on that promise, he would not be a candidate for reelection in 2018. If there were any doubts whether he would change his mind and decide to run again, those were removed when he was nominated by President Trump to head the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). With his pledge to not run again, and the prospect of the NASA job, five Republicans have already announced their intention to succeed Bridenstine in Congress. If Bridenstine is quickly confirmed, or resigns before his nomination is secured, there would be a special election to fill the vacant seat prior to the regular election next year.
Five Republicans have announced for the seat: state Sen. Nathan Dahm of Broken Arrow; former Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris; pastor Danny Stockstill who is the lead pastor at Brookside Baptist Church in Tulsa; businessman Kevin Hern the owner of KTAK Coorporation which owns and operates ten McDonald’s restaurants in the Tulsa area; and Andy Coleman who is the former field director of The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), a Christian nonprofit organization.
While the district is a difficult one for Democrats to win, it has been more than 30 years since a Democrat has held the seat, party leaders are expected to at least field a candidate to make the GOP work to hold the seat. Rex Berry is the lone Democrat to express an interest in running. He previously made two losing races for Tulsa County Sheriff. And, Libertarians who regained status as a recognized political party in 2016, are expected to present a candidate to gain attention for their party.
U.S. House – Second District
Markwayne Mullin, 40, is running for a another term in the second district. Mullin owns Mullin Plumbing which spans much of the state. He also has ranching operations in Adair and Wagoner counties. When he first ran for office in 2012, he said he would serve no more than six years in Congress, but recently announced that he will again be a candidate.
Two years ago, Mullin was challenged in the Republican Primary by Jarrin Jackson, of Claremore. Jackson graduated from West Point and served two tours of duty in Afghanistan. He serves as an executive of a non-profit organization. Jackson received 37 percent of the vote in that election. Jackson, 32, plans to again challenge Mullin.
Brian Kelly Jackson of Muskogee is also challenging Mullin for the Republican nomination. He is an associate professor of economics and accounting at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah.
Independent, John McCarthy, 48, of Afton ran as an Independent candidate against Mullin in 2016, but is running as a Republican in 2018. He received 6 percent of the vote in the 2016 General Election. McCarthy is a mortgage broker and his main issue in 2016 was speeding up the process to find a cure for cancer.
U.S. House – Third District
Long-time Third District Congressman Frank Lucas, 58, was first elected in a Special Election in 1994. He is the longest serving member among the current Oklahoma Delegation in the U.S. House, and is running for reelection. Lucas received accolades from many conservative Republicans when he was the lone member of the House of Representatives from Oklahoma to vote against the big bank bailout in 2008.
U.S. House – Fourth District
Fourth District Congressman Tom Cole, 68, is running for reelection. Cole was first elected to Congress in 2002. While serving in the state Senate back in the 1989-90 time period Cole compiled an 80% Oklahoma Conservative Index score, placing him in the Top Conservatives list. However, his record in Congress has been markedly less conservative. The district covers much of south central and southwestern parts of the state.
Norman minister and Oklahoma City schoolteacher Dr. James Taylor, 59, is expected to again challenge Cole for the Republican nomination, arguing that he would be much more conservative than Cole. Taylor was one of two Republicans to run against Cole in 2016 and came in second place with 18 percent of the vote. The only announced Democrat is John McKenna of Choctaw.
U.S. House – Fifth District
The 5th District includes most of Oklahoma County, Pottawatomie and Seminole counties. Former state Senator Steve Russell was elected to the seat in 2014 and was reelected in 2016. Russell, 54, is running for reelection. No other Republican has announced for the seat, but several Democrats are running. As more Republicans voters have moved outside the Oklahoma City metro area, Democrats have been able to flip some legislative seats from Republican and has given them hope that they could flip the seat in Congress as well.
Tom Guild, 63, of Edmond was the only Democrat to file for the seat in 2012. He ran for the seat two years earlier, losing in the primary. He also lost the Democrat nomination in 2014 and 2016. Guild has announced that he will again be a candidate in 2018. Guild taught political science and legal studies at the University of Central Oklahoma for 27 years and three years at Oklahoma City University. Years ago, when he was a registered Republican, Guild made three races for a seat on the Corporation Commission, but lost in the Republican Primary the last two times. He even went so far as to put the word “Reagan” on his campaign signs, and claimed to be a conservative Republican. He now calls himself a Progressive Democrat.
Kendra Horn announced in July that she will also run for the Democrat nomination. Horn, 41, is a professional mediator. She is the executive director of Women Lead Oklahoma which is a nonprofit organization working to empower women to be leaders and be engaged in civil activities. She was press secretary for former Second District Congressman Brad Carson. She has previously managed political campaigns and served as executive director of Sally’s List which supported women running for elected office. She lives in Oklahoma City and is a native of Chickasha. In early fundraising reports, Horn has actually out-raised incumbent Russell, indicating a serious challenge.
A third Democrat, Eddie Ray Porter, 66, is a consultant for the American Correctional Association. He formerly worked for the state Office of Juvenile Affairs. His main issue is criminal justice reform.
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