Sunday, July 23, 2006

Primary Colors

A review of Tuesday's ballot choices indicates that Democrats are making a move toward victory in November. I expect to see strong nominees emerge from some of the primaries and that we will see a runoff or two ahead of us.

Interesting Democratic primaries include the one for Lt. Governor with a large percentage of voters undecided last weekend. The push is on from Jari Askins, Cal Hobson, and Pete Regan to convince Democrats that they alone can beat the Republican nominee in November. All three are on TV and have websites. All three have crisscrossed the state seeking votes on Tuesday. Jim Rogers placed his name on the ballot but has done little to no campaigning.

There are two interesting Democratic primaries for the State Senate. In Senate District 16, Cleveland and McClain counties, three men are vying for the opportunity to follow Cal Hobson to the State Senate. (Hobson is term-limited after 28 years of service in the Oklahoma Legislature.) I have relatives who live in the district and they have received a LOT of mail from the candidates: Tim Emrich, Derrick Ott, and John Sparks. All three have some tv up and all three have websites. This is a real contest if you look at the number of doors knocked and signs placed in residential yards. With the intensity of campaigning and high quality of candidates I expect a runoff in this district.

In Senate District 26, out in western Oklahoma, three men are vying for the opportunity to follow Gilmer Capps to the State Senate. (Capps is term-limited after serving three decades in the Oklahoma Legislature.) Voters there have a tough choice among the three candidates Tom Ivester, Larry Peck, and Wayne Walters. They all three have websites and Ivester has a tv commercial. I have family that lives in that district too and the candidates are doing a good job covering the district. There's a possible runoff in this district too.

In Senate District 46, home of term-limited Senator Bernest Cain, there's also a three-way primary for the party's nomination. Campaigning hard in that district are Andrew Rice, Rhonda Rudd, and Drew Dugan. Again, they each have websites and a lot of signs throughout the district. This metro district is totally walkable and I heard that one of the candidates has knocked the doors in the district three times. We'll see what campaign style and message pays off there. The Republicans have a runoff there too, but given the nature of the district and their weak candidates, this is a definitie hold for Democrats.

Both Lloyd Fields and Frank Shurden have been campaigning hard this month for the party's nomination. I know Lloyd Fields has visited all 77 counties. Frank Shurden has been building a base from home territory in the 2nd District. We'll have a nominee Tuesday night and then will launch a campaign to take the State Labor Commissioner's office in November. Bye bye Brenda.
There's a five-way race for the Democratic nomination in HD 99 in NE Oklahoma City. This is Opio Toure's seat, one he's leaving due to term-limits. Competing for the nomination are Wayne Chandler, Larry Foster II, Tom Nash, Greg Nelson, and Anastasia Pittman. Rumors are one of the candidates will earn enough votes to avoid a runoff, but with this many candidates, who knows for sure? Again, it will be interesting to see the results based on the very different campaigning styles of these candidates.

Incumbent Democrat Mike Shelton has three challengers in HD 97, also NE Oklahoma City. Seeking their first win are Christine Byrd, Jesse Jackson Jr., and Lorenzo Thompson. This is a shoe leather campaign and will be interesting to see the strength of the candidates' messagegs with these important voters. No Republicans filed for this seat, so it will stay in the Democratic column.

House District 95 is an open seat with two Democrats and two Republicans. Either Lee Roy Tucker or Max Wolfley will be the Democratic nominee. Previously held by a Republican, this is a possible pick up for Democrats so we'll keep our eye on this one for sure.

Larry Gooch and Scott Inman are seeking the Democratic nomination in HD 94. Kevin Calvey vacated this Del City seat to run for CD 5. Gooch, a retired firefight, has run for this seat before, and Inman, an attorney, ran for the Senate seat that overlaps the district. This is another possible pick up for Democrats so we'll be watching closely.

In HD 89 incumbent Rebecca Hamilton is being challenged by newcomer Pam Cross. This is a strong Democratic district in south OKC. There is no Republican in the race so this one will stay with the Democrats and with a woman!

Democrats will continue to hold HD 88 after Tuesday. The seat is being vacated by Rep. Debbie Blackburn due to term-limits. Al McAffrey, Casey Davis, and Nathan Powell are seeking the nomination. Each have websites and have knocked a lot of doors in the district.

Joe Hartman and Dana Orwig both want to take on Trebor Worthen in November. One of them will get the chance on Tuesday. HD 87, another metro district, was a pick up for the Republicans in 2004, Joe or Dana will take it back in 2006.

Over in eastern Oklahoma incumbent John Auffett is being challenged by Mike Wininger for HD 86. There was a three-way contest in 2004 for this seat that was previously held by Speaker Larry Adair. The district covers Adair, Cherokee, and Delaware counties. This will stay with the Democrats Tuesday night, one way or the other.

Stan Brooks, Wayne Guevara, and Carl Weston are vying for the Democratic nomination in HD 74 where incumbent Republican John Smaligo is leaving office. This is a potential pick up for Democrats in the Owasso area.

Estelle Cash and Wallace Collins are both campaigning hard against Thad Balkman in HD 45 in Norman. Cash or Collins will win Tuesday and again in November. Balkman's support in the district is diminishing despite recent newspaper advertising in the Norman Transcript - more about this in a separate post. Balkman, like his heroes Grover Norquist, Ernest Istook and Ronald Reagan is not good for this district.

Pierce Jones and Doyle Lewis are eager to take out freshman legislator Mike Jackson in Enid's HD 40. What an improvement we'll have in November when a Democrat takes that seat!

Scott Big Horse and Jack Rankin are working hard in HD 36 to replace Joe Sweeden who is leaving his House seat to run for the Senate. The district is predominantly Democrat and should stay that way in November.

Dennis Campbell and Melinda Johnson Ryan will face off Tuesday for the opportunity to represent the Democrats in HD 30. This Sapulpa area seat should move back into the Democratic column this time. The Creek County Democrats are mobilized and ready for victory.

Ah, sweet revenge! It's possible in HD 29, home of Jimmy Todd Hiett, where Democrats Famous Tankersley and Kathryn Thompson are working to turn that district back to the people in November.

Joe Freeman and Gary Goodine are fighting to replace Kris Steele in HD 26 over by Shawnee. The Democrats are excited about this one too.

Connie Dodson and Steve Gallo are giving the Tulsa County Democrats something to fight for in their efforts to unseat Sue Tibbs in HD 23. Both Dodson and Gallo are out knocking doors and running strong campaigns. Tibbs better start looking for another profession.

Democrats in Pittsburgh County will choose their representative Tuesday to replace term-limited Mike Mass. The choices are Barbara Gilbertson, Allen Harshaw, and Brian Renegar. This district is true blue and will remain that way with a Democrat in HD 17.

The Democrats lost a great legislator when Ray Miller, HD 15, decided not to run again. Asking to replace him are Edward Cannaday, Brian McLaughlin, Doyle Rose and Gary Updyke. Don't know why the Republican even bothered to file there. This is the heart of Democratic country.

Dianne Barker Harrold and Jeff Potts are lined up to be the Democratic nominee to replace term-limited Barbara Staggs in HD 14 in the Muskogee area. The winner will face a Republican, to be determined, in November. We should keep this one and continue the strong Democratic representation we've come to expect from Muskogee County.

Henry Flanders, Chuck Hoskin, and Kenny Weast are seeking the nomination in HD 6 where Joe Eddins is leaving under term-limits. Turn out should be good there and the Democrats will turn out strong in November to hold this seat.

For candidate profiles check out and the candidate page at

No comments: