KGOU

2018 elections

This is the Manager’s Minute.

Labor Day is considered the unofficial launch of the Fall election season, and our Oklahoma Engaged political reporting is now moving full speed toward November.

With funding from the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation and the Kirkpatrick Foundation, KGOU, StateImpact Oklahoma and our public radio partners created Oklahoma Engaged to serve as a campaign for the people.

A deep-pocketed political newcomer and Republican businessman from Tulsa will face a longtime Democratic Party stalwart and former attorney general in November’s gubernatorial election.

Matt Pinnell, left, and Kevin Stitt talk to reporters at a watch party in Tulsa on Aug. 28, 2018.
Matt Trotter / Oklahoma Engaged

A political outsider will be the Republican party's nominee for governor.

Kevin Stitt, a Tulsa businessman, defeated former Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett in Tuesday's Republican primary runoff. Stitt defeated Cornett 55 to 45 percent. 

Edmond resident Jay Mandraccia casts her primary ballot during early voting Thursday at the Oklahoma County Board of Elections. Regular voting will be held Tuesday.
Trevor Brown / Oklahoma Watch

In this episode of Capitol Insider, KGOU’s Dick Pryor and eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley discuss the high number of runoff races on Tuesday’s ballot, including the race between Republican gubernatorial candidates Kevin Stitt and Mick Cornett. 

Kevin Stitt is shown speaking at a forum hosted by Edmond Republican Women on May 21.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Republican gubernatorial candidate Kevin Stitt’s mortgage company did not tell Wisconsin officials about its run-ins with other states’ regulators when it applied for a mortgage banking license a decade ago, according to documents obtained by Oklahoma Watch.

With Low Turnout, Should Oklahoma Kill The Primary Runoff?

Jul 18, 2018
A polling station at Oklahoma County Election Commission offices.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

August will be a pivotal month for Oklahoma politics, with likely a record number of candidates facing off in runoff primary elections.

Democratic candidates and supporters gather for a Democratic Unity picnic at the Wheeler Ferris Wheel grounds in Oklahoma City.
Kateleigh Mills / Oklahoma Engaged

Women are a key constituency for both of Oklahoma’s major political parties, and an increasing number of women are running for office. But data suggest a majority of Oklahoma women are disappointed with both major political parties.

Candidates lined up at the State Capitol on April 11 to file to run for office.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

When Oklahomans return to the polls to select the state’s next governor and a host of statewide and legislative officers, they will be making their choices without potentially decisive information.

Oklahoma gubernatorial candidates, 2018
Oklahoma Watch

All of a sudden last week, 15 candidates in the Oklahoma governor’s race were pared to five: one Democrat, two Libertarians, two Republicans.

Voters wait in line at a polling station in Oklahoma City on Tuesday.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Tuesday’s primary elections settled some lingering questions but raised a host of others.

In a historic vote, voters in one of the nation’s most conservative states indicated a readiness to legalize medical marijuana. And Oklahoma’s Republican voters decided that their choice for the next leader of the state will come down to former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt.

Mick Cornett speaks to his supporters after advancing to the Republican runoff primary election.
Joe Wertz / Oklahoma Engaged

Former Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett will face Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt in a runoff for the Republican nomination for governor. 

Roy Lenz, a retired farmer, owns the Brandin’ Iron in Laverne, Oklahoma. His bar is in a dry county, so he can only serve low point beer.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Roy Lenz tidies the bar at the Brandin’ Iron on a Saturday afternoon. His wife, Barbara, fires up the grill, filling the place with the smell of hamburger patties, grilled onions and bacon.

“This place was built back in the late 20s, early 30s, and it’s been a bar from the late 30s, early 40s,” Roy said.

Voters cast ballots at the Oklahoma County Election Board Thursday, the first day of voting for the June 26 elections. The slate includes primary races for statewide offices and legislative seats, as well as State Question 788 on medical marijuana.
Jeff Raymond / Oklahoma Watch

Voters began casting early ballots Thursday, beginning the process to select a new governor, fill most statewide offices and legislative seats, and decide the controversial ballot question on medical marijuana.

Oklahoma state Rep. Kevin Calvey, R-Oklahoma City, speaks during a news conference in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, July 19, 2016. Calvey is term-limited out of the House, and 12 Republicans are vying to replace him.
Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

Ahead of the June 26 primary election, KGOU’s Dick Pryor and eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley are joined by University of Oklahoma political scientist Keith Gaddie to discuss the nearly 600 candidates running for office ahead this year in Oklahoma.

This is the Manager’s Minute.

2018 is a monumental election year in Oklahoma. All statewide offices, including governor, are on the ballot, along with judicial, legislative and congressional races.

With so many issues facing the state, interest is high – and we’re meeting that demand with an ambitious and innovative plan for election coverage.

KGOU and StateImpact Oklahoma, along with our public radio partners, KOSU, KWGS, and KCCU have launched Oklahoma Engaged: Project Public Office.

Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Just 35 women filed for one of the 125 Oklahoma legislative seats that were up for election in 2012.

This year, there will be nearly four times as many women running for the same number of seats. And following a trend across the nation, women will be better represented on the ballot than in at least a decade – and likely ever.

Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Deborah Gist cried as she stepped across the small stage in front the Oklahoma State Capitol. The Superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools and a group of educators had just finished a 110-mile walk from Tulsa to Oklahoma City to highlight their fight for more school funding.


Oklahoma State Department of Education

The education advocacy that fueled the teacher walkout also led to a surge of candidates filing for office, including a few surprises in the race for state superintendent.

Joy Hofmeister, state superintendent of instruction, drew four opponents.

Hofmeister, 53, will face two Republican challengers in the June primary: Linda Murphy, of Edmond, and Will Farrell, of Tulsa. Murphy, 66, is a public policy consultant who twice ran against Sandy Garrett for state superintendent. Farrell, 32, is a student at Oklahoma State University and a legal assistant at a Tulsa law firm.

Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb speaks to a group in Enid in October last year.
Billy Hefton / Enid News & Eagle

A nonprofit foundation created by Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb has raised more than $850,000 since it launched to much fanfare in late 2015 and will soon roll out its first major initiatives.

Newly released IRS filings show the E Foundation for Oklahoma, a tax-exempt public charity that is allowed to shield the names of its donors, more than doubled its first-year fundraising total of $237,000 by taking in $622,500 in 2016.

I Voted Sticker
Dwight Burdette / Creative Commons

Faced with low approval ratings, Oklahoma legislators are already seeing signs that they could be up against greater competition in trying to retain their seats in the 2018 election.

Campaign fundraising records indicate that 13 lawmakers have already drawn challengers – a sharp increase over the number that had filed by this stage in the 2016 election cycle. By the end of August 2015, just one lawmaker had drawn an opponent.