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PM NewsBrief: Aug. 24, 2022

This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022.

Stitt cabinet appointee gets nod for GOP State Superintendent nomination

Ryan Walters secured the Republican nomination for State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Walters is Oklahoma’s Secretary of Education and he defeated Shawnee Public Schools Superintendent April Grace by about 15,000 votes.

Walters received support from Gov. Kevin Stitt and a number of school choice groups. Grace had been backed by mostly traditional public school advocates.

Walters now moves onto the general election, where he will face off against Democrat and former teacher of the year Jena Nelson.

Mullin wins Republican runoff for Inhofe’s unexpired term

The Republican nominee to replace retiring Senator Jim Inhofe was decided in Oklahoma’s runoff elections Tuesday.

Oklahoma congressman Markwayne Mullin has won the Republican runoff in the race to finish Senator Inhofe’s unexpired term.

Mullin, whose race was decided shortly after the polls closed, has represented Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District since 2013.

Mullin will likely be the favorite in November in deep red Oklahoma. But - Mullin’s Democratic opponent is former congresswoman Kendra Horn who won against an incumbent Republican in 2018.

The voters will now decide whether the senate seat will remain red, as it has since 1994.

Leslie Osborn secures majority of votes in Labor Commissioner race

Osborn received 53% of the vote, while term-limited State Representative Sean Roberts’ got 47%.

Osborn is wrapping up her first term as labor commissioner, while Roberts is serving his final term representing Hominy in the state legislature.

Leading up to the runoff election, some Republican lawmakers called for Roberts to drop out of the race over domestic abuse allegations related to his 20-year-old divorce.

Osborn will face Democrat Jack Henderson and Libertarian Will Daugherty on November 8th.The winning candidate will oversee workplace rights and safety issues in Oklahoma.

Calvey secures GOP nod for Oklahoma County DA

Kevin Calvey won against Gayland Gieger in a runoff election for Oklahoma County District Attorney.

With over 60% of the vote, Kevin Calvey secured his place as the Republican candidate for Oklahoma County DA.

This runoff election followed a close race in the June primary where Calvey missed the 50% threshold by hundredths of a point.

There was a recount, but according to the State Election Board, the results were not enough to avoid a runoff election.

Calvey, who is currently an Oklahoma County Commissioner, is under investigation by state law enforcement agents for alleged use of public funds for his campaign.

Calvey will face Democrat Vicki Behenna in November.

Bond propositions

Three central Oklahoma bond issues got approval from voters.

Newcastle passed a nearly 80-million-dollar school bond for updated security, new storm shelters and additional classrooms as well as new buses, textbooks and playground equipment.

Bridge Creek is getting almost eleven-million for new classrooms and a science lab at its high school.

And the City of Bethany is getting 15-million-dollars for roadway improvements, five city parks and stormwater drainage as well as upgrades to police, fire and animal welfare facilities.

A national free speech organization calls on Oklahoma’s State Board of Education

Pen America is a 100-year-old free speech organization that was once headed by famed author Salman Rushdie and advocates for free speech in all aspects of American life today.

In a letter Tuesday, the group asked Oklahoma’s State Board to reverse an accreditation warning for teaching divisive concepts at Tulsa and Mustang Public Schools.

Those accreditation warnings were the first punishment a school has faced for Oklahoma’s so-called Critical Race Theory ban. Since then, community leaders, newspaper editorial boards and even the school districts themselves have asked the state board to reverse their decision.

The board could have an opportunity to do so at a meeting Thursday, though such a move would be unprecedented.

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