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. 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 the 2020 election. Senator James Lankford was reelected in 2016 and his term will not be up until after the 2022 election. 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 was 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.
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, Bridenstine pledged that if elected he would only serve three terms. 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). The U.S. Senate confirmed Bridenstine’s appointment in April and he resigned his seat in Congress. The seat will be filled in the regular election cycle since the vacancy occurred during an election year. Ten candidates, including five Republicans and five Democrats, filed for the seat.
With five Republicans in the race, the Republican nominee probably will not be determined until the August 28 runoff primary, unless one of the candidates receives more than 50 percent of the vote in the June 26 primary election.
State Senator Nathan Dahm, 35, of Broken Arrow, has been a strong conservative voice in the Oklahoma Senate. He has a cumulative average of 98 percent on the Oklahoma Conservative Index published by the Oklahoma Constitution newspaper. He previously ran for the seat in Congress prior to his election to the Oklahoma Senate in 2012.
Kevin Hern, 56, is the owner of KTAK Coorporation which owns and operates ten McDonald’s restaurants which employs over 400 people in the Tulsa area. He has been the chairman of the finance committee of the Oklahoma Republican Party.
Andy Coleman, 39, is from Owasso. The Iraq War veteran returned home, graduated from law school, and became an associate at an international law firm. He later left the practice of law and entered the full-time ministry, joining the The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), a Christian nonprofit organization.
Tim Harris, 65, was elected District Attorney in Tulsa County in 1998. He was reelected in subsequent elections and served 16 years in the position, becoming the longest holder of the office in the history of the county.
Danny Stockstill, 43, is the lead pastor at Brookside Baptist Church in Tulsa.
It has been more than 30 years since a Democrat has held the seat, but five Democrats filed in the hope of flipping the open seat. A runoff primary is considered likely. Amanda Douglas, 36, of Broken Arrow is an oil and gas business analyst. Gwendolyn Fields, 51, is a criminal justice reform advocate. David Matthew Hullum, 35, of Tulsa filed for the seat as an Independent in the 2016 election, but withdrew his name before the election. Tim Gilpin, 57, of Tulsa has practiced law in Oklahoma since 1986 and served as an Assistant Attorney General under Robert Henry. Mark Keeter, 61, is from Tulsa.
U.S. House – Second District
The Second District covers 26 counties in eastern Oklahoma, stretching south from the Kansas state line to the Red River border with Texas. After the 2010 census and minor redistricting, the district remains the most Democratic in the state by registration. Markwayne Mullin, 40, is running for a another term. 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 decided that he will again run for reelection. Mullin is being opposed for the Republican nomination by three candidates.
Two years ago, Mullin was challenged in the Republican Primary by Jarrin Jackson of Owasso. Jackson, 32, graduated from West Point and served two tours of duty in Afghanistan. He serves as an executive of a non-profit organization. He received 37 percent of the vote in that election.
Brian Jackson, 58, of Muskogee is an associate professor of economics and accounting at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. He is no relation to the other Jackson in the race.
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.
There are four candidates vying for the Democrat nomination. A runoff primary may be required if one candidate does not receive more than 50 percent of the vote in the June primary.
Virginia Blue Jeans Jenner, 78, is a retired dental hygienist from Wagoner. She ran for governor in 1986, the First District congressional seat in 1988, U.S. Senate in 1990, Labor Commissioner in 1994 and 1998, the Second District congressional seat in 1996, state House District 12 in 2000, and Labor Commissioner again in 2002.
Jason Nichols, 43, is serving his second term as mayor of Tahlequah and is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Northeastern State University where he is now an instructor of Political Science.
Clay Padgett, 48, is from Soper. He is a retired Army Colonel and a veteran of Iraq/Afghan War. He is currently perusing a degree in education.
Elijah McIntosh, 38, is from Tahlequah.
In addition to the Republican and Democrat candidates, there are two other candidates who will advance directly to the November election ballot. Richard Castaldo, 36, of Grove was the only Libertarian to file. John Foreman, 53, of Park Hill filed as an Independent.
U.S. House – Third District
The third district covers most of the north central and northwestern parts of the state, including the panhandle. Long-time 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. He is unopposed for the Republican nomination.
The Democrat nominee will be determined in the June primary. Frankie Robbins, 72, of Medford was the Democrat nominee and lost to Lucas in 2008, 2010, and 2016. He also ran in 2012, but lost in the Primary Election. Robbins, a Civil Engineer, is retired from the U.S. Forest Service. The other Democrat in the race is Murray Mark Thibodeaux, 61, who is a businessman.
U.S. House – Fourth District
The Fourth District covers much of south central and southwestern parts of the state. 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.
Dr. James Taylor, 59, of Norman challenged Cole for the Republican nomination in 2016. Taylor was one of two Republicans to run against Cole in 2016 and finished in second place with 18 percent of the vote. Dr. Taylor, who is black, says that he would be much more conservative than Cole. He is a U.S. History teacher and serves as the Senior Pastor of Christ’s Church in Norman. He is the author of, It’s Biblical, Not Political, which guides Christian voters on how to vet political candidates to ensure they will follow the Constitution and the intent of our Founding Fathers to limit federal power while protecting the rights of the states and people respectively.
There are four candidates competing for the Democrat nomination. A runoff primary may be required if one candidate does not receive more than 50 percent of the vote in the June primary.
Fred Gipson, 81, of Norman is an attorney. Early in his career he served as a legislative assistant to Oklahoma U.S. Senator Fred Harris. He later served as Chief Counsel to the University of Oklahoma and also taught Political Science and Higher Education Law at OU. Since leaving the University, he has been practicing law and running several businesses. Mary Brannon, 66, is from Washington, Oklahoma. She is a teacher and school counselor. Roxann Klutts, 49, of Moore is a teacher. Mallory Varner, 28, of Midwest City is the fourth candidate.
There will also be an Independent candidate on the November ballot, Ruby Peters, 74, of Lawton. In 2016 she ran for a seat in the Oklahoma House.
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. He lives in Choctaw. Two other Republicans filed for the seat. Gregory Dunson, 49, is from Oklahoma City. DeJuan Edwards, 36, is from Edmond.
As more Republicans voters have moved outside the Oklahoma City metro area, Democrats have been able to flip some legislative seats from Republican giving them hope that they could flip the seat in Congress as well. Six candidates filed for the Democrat nomination, which makes a runoff primary likely.
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 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.
Leona Kelley-Leonard, 47, of Seminole ran for the seat in 2014 and 2016, and finished third in the primary election both times. She is the former chair of the Seminole County Democratic Party.
Kendra 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.
Ed 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.
Tyson Todd Meade, 55, of Oklahoma City is an artist and rock star (founder/singer of the Chainsaw Kittens).
Elysabeth Britt, 39, of Oklahoma City is a human resources professional.
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