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Republican Gains, Few Surprises: A Real-Time Recap Of Oklahoma's Midterm Election Results

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Laura Knoll

Throughout the evening, KGOU will provide updates on the air and online as voters across the country determine who will represent them in state Capitols and Washington, D.C. for at least the next two years.

Oklahoma voters have cast ballots for every member of its Congressional delegation for the first time in state history, and decide who will occupy the Governor's mansion, lead the state Department of Education, and represent their constituents in the state House and Senate chambers at NE 23rd and Lincoln.

For the next few hours, we'll bring you election results and analysis from NPR in Washington and around the nation, and our partners at OETA in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter using the #okvotes14 for any questions.

10:21 p.m.: Southwest Oklahoma House roundup includes a youthful lawmaker, Dorman's district flipped, and a mother-son combo

23-year-old Republican and University of Oklahoma student John Michael Montgomery defeated Democrat John Dunaway in southwest Oklahoma's House District 62 to become one of the youngest state lawmakers taking office at 23rd and Lincoln.

Democratic gubernatorial nominee and term-limited state Rep. Joe Dorman's House District 65 has flipped. Republican Scooter Park narrowly defeated Democrat Tom Hasenbeck by a 52-48 margin.

And there will be a mother-son combination in the State House. Republican Jeff Coody defeated Democrat Juan Rodriguez in House District 63. Jeff Coody is the son of state Rep. Ann Coody, who represents House District 64 near Lawton.

10:07 p.m.: McAffrey says he respects his opponent, Congressman-elect Steve Russell, plans to slow down

State Sen. Al McAffrey, the Democratic nominee for Oklahoma's Fifth Congressional District said he respects his Republican opponent Steve Russell for his service in the U.S. Army. Russell was part of a team that captured former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003.

"I hope Mr. Russell gets to know the district," McAffrey told StateImpact Oklahoma's Logan Layden. "I know he lives outside of the district. I hope he gets moved in, so he'll really know the people of District Five."

McAffrey was the first openly gay member of the state House when he took office in 2006, and was elected  to the state Senate in 2012. He stepped down from that seat to run for Congress, and says he's not sure of his future plans.

"Tomorrow I'm going to sleep in," McAffrey said. "I won't get up at four. I may get up at six."

9:54 p.m.: Oklahoma House leadership weighs in on voter turnout, House division remains unchanged

Oklahoma's voter turnout for the 2014 midterm election has been estimated at about 39.5 percent, right around the national rate of 40 percent.

"From my perspective, that's pretty depressing," House Minority Leader Scott Inman (D-Del City) said. "Republicans aren't happy because they don't like the president. A lot of Democrats aren't happy with the way the president has been moving things, or other reasons. You would think people would be active, and get out there and vote."

The party makeup of the Oklahoma House remains unchanged, with 72 Republicans and 29 Democrats set to take office in February. House will stay at 72-29. Numbers nationally - turnout 40 percent 

"I think that's a good night for us, to be able to defend as many open seats as we had," House Speaker Jeff Hickman (R-Fairview) said.

Inman says races expected to be competitive, such as the governor's office and state superintendent, weren't as close as the Democratic leadership anticipated. Democrats will also lose four seats in the State Senate, down to just eight members of the party in that chamber.

"To take all of that environment, to say that the House Democrats won't lose a seat at all, that we're going to remain static, that's a victory in and of itself," Inman said.

9:43 p.m.: Democrats extend "record minority" and lose four seats in State Senate

Democrats will hold only eight of the 48 seats in the upper chamber of the Oklahoma legislature.

Incumbent state Sen. Anastasia Pittman was the only Democrat to win her Senate contest Tuesday night. One of the more closely contested seats was for the Senate District 6 seat, but Republican Josh Brecheen defeated Democrat Joe B. Hill by a 53 to 44 percent margin.

Update 9:31 p.m. - Republican Hofmeister wins Oklahoma schools post

Former state Board of Education member Joy Hofmeister has become only the second Republican since statehood to be elected asOklahoma's top schools chief.

Hofmeister defeated Democrat John Cox on Tuesday.

To advance to the general election, Hofmeister trounced the incumbent superintendent of public instruction, Janet Barresi, in the GOP primary.

Hofmeister has called for curbing what she believes is excessive testing of students done at the expense of more quality learning in classrooms. She's also called for boosting teacher pay and developing incentives to keep talented educators inOklahoma.

Hofmeister says she'll be able to work with the GOP-dominated Legislature to accomplish her goals.

She has spent the past 15 years operating a franchise of math and reading centers that cater to private, public, charter and home-schooled kids.

Update 9:29 p.m. - Shortey defeats Brooks-Jimenez in south Oklahoma City district

State Sen. Ralph Shortey won re-election by just under a double-digit margin, defeating Democratic challenger Michael Brooks-Jimenez.

Brooks-Jimenez is an immigration attorney in Senate District 44, one of the largest centers of the Hispanic population in Oklahoma City. With all 27 precincts reporting, Brooks-Jimenez earned 41.8 percent of the vote, compared to Shortey's 51.7  percent.

"It has been and will continue to be one of the great honors of my life to serve the community," Brooks-Jimenez said in a Facebook post. "I want to especially acknowledge all of the students who volunteered, your hard-work and determination has been the most wonderful and rewarding parts of this campaign. Oklahoma City has a great group of leaders coming soon and I look forward to seeing all of the wonderful things that you will do for this great state."

Update 9:13 p.m. - Dorman delivers concession speech, thanks family, Oklahomans

Democratic gubernatorial nominee state Rep. Joe Dorman told supporters he planned to run for Grady County Commissioner once his term expired in the Oklahoma House, but said his family encouraged him to run for governor to hear the ideas of Oklahomans and champion them into policies.

"Every single day on this campaign truly got better and better as more of you joined the efforts," Dorman said. "I look back at this with absolutely no regrets." 

Update 9:06 p.m. - Fallin delivers acceptance speech after winning reelection

Gov. Mary Fallin thanked Oklahomans, and repeated many of the accomplishments in her campaign stump speech as she delivered her acceptance speech following her victory in the 2014 governor's race.

"We have put tens of thousands of Oklahomans back to work, creating over 102,000 new jobs," Fallin said. "That's the type of results you get from conservative leadership."

Fallin also reiterated her efforts to balance the state budget, stand up to Washington, and make state government more efficient.

Update 8:55 p.m. - Oklahoma Democrats contest Second District election after car accident claims the life of nominee Earl Everett

Update 8:51 p.m. - Costello re-elected as Oklahoma labor commissioner 

Republican Commissioner of Labor Mark Costello has won a second four-year term following a low-key campaign against a Democratic former public school band director from Tulsa.

Costello was re-elected in Tuesday's election in which he faced Democrat Mike Workman.

Costello says that during his four years in office he has worked to bring the agency into the 21st century by deploying new technology to make it more efficient and its services more convenient for taxpayers.

Workman had criticized the incumbent for closing the agency's office in Tulsa last year. Costello has said the closure was due to federal budget cuts. He says the office was underused and that technology upgrades had allowed much of the agency's professional licensing services to be conducted online.

Update 8:47 p.m. - Cox concedes State Superintendent race

Democratic state superintendent nominee John Cox delivered a gracious concession speech after losing by a small margin to Republican Joy Hofmeister.

"Let's get behind her, and let's work hard for our public schools," Cox said.

The Peggs Public Schools superintendent says he plans to watch the state Department of Education closely over the next four years, but he said what's most important is to make sure children continue to have a love for learning, and teachers continue to have a love for teaching.

Updated 8:42 p.m. - Steve Russell wins central Oklahoma's open 5th Congressional District seat

Republican Steve Russell has won an open U.S. House seat representing central Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District.

The former state senator defeated Democratic state Sen. Al McAffrey in Tuesday's election. The seat is being vacated by Republican U.S. Rep. James Lankford.

Russell says the United States' economy, its relationship with other nations and the rise of Islamic extremists are among issues he was most questioned about by voters during the campaign.

Russell is a retired Army lieutenant colonel whose career culminated with the U.S. invasion of Iraq. He wrote the book "We Got Him," about his unit's role in the hunt for and capture of Saddam Hussein. He regularly speaks at events across the nation.

The district includes most of Oklahoma County and Seminole and Pottawatomie counties to the east.

Updated 8:30 p.m. - Fallin, Lamb win re-election as Oklahoma's top two executives

Republican Gov. Mary Fallin has won a second four-year term in office, defeating Democratic state Rep. Joe Dorman and two independents.

A longtime fixture in Oklahoma politics, the 59-year-old Fallin has never lost an election in a political career that has included stints in the Oklahoma House, as lieutenant governor and in Congress.

She campaigned on the success the state's economy has had recovering from the recession, touting its low unemployment rate and a rise in average personal income. Fallin also championed a tax cut she was able to push through the GOP-controlled Legislature earlier this year.

Dorman attacked Fallin on the campaign trail for some of the changes she pushed for Oklahoma schools, including A-F grading for local districts and high-stakes reading tests for third graders.

Republican Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb has won a second four-year term as the state's second-in-charge.

Lamb defeated Democrat Cathy Cummings in Tuesday's election.

Lamb, a former state senator, stressed job creation and job expansion as he campaigned for re-election. Lamb serves as the small business advocate on Gov. Mary Fallin's cabinet. Lamb says he has been a team member in an economic development effort that has been a national leader in job growth and produced an unemployment rate consistently below the national average.

A former special agent with the U.S. Secret Service, Lamb chaired the OklahomaSchool Security Commission formed after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at a school in Connecticut in December 2012. The commission's work led to legislation designed to make Oklahoma schools safer.

Updated 8:25 p.m. - Republicans widening leads over Democrats in several still-contested races

More than half of precincts statewide are now reporting results, and several Republican statewide candidates are starting to pull away from their Democratic challengers.

State Rep. Joe Dorman is holding steady at 42 percent, while Gov. Mary Fallin holds a 55 percent lead in the governor's race. Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb is widening his lead over challenger Cathy Cummings. Former state Sen. Steve Russell holds a 57-39 percent lead over Democratic state Sen. Al McAffrey in the contest to replace U.S. Senator-elect James Lankford in the Fifth Congressional District

Updated 8:14 p.m. - All three state questions decided

Oklahoma voters have approved all three state questions on the second page of the November ballot.

State Question 769 allows many elected, state and county officials, as well as the heads of some boards, agencies and commissions to simultaneously serve in the National Guard or U.S. military reserves.

The others deal with homestead exemptions for veterans.

Under current law, qualified disabled veterans, their surviving spouses, or the spouses of military members killed in the line of duty can receive a property tax exemption.

State Questions 770 and 771 allow them to sell the homestead property and acquire a new one in the same calendar year.

All three proposed constitutional amendments become law immediately now that they've been approved by Oklahoma voters. 

Updated 8:09 p.m. - Close race in Senate District 40 for Oklahoma's first Asian-American lawmaker

Looking at absentee and early voting ballots, Republican Ervin Yen holds a 53-47 percent advantage over Democrat John Handy Edwards.

Both men have Vietnamese backgrounds, and the winner would become the first person of Asian heritage in the Oklahoma state legislature.

Updated 7:57 p.m. - Shortey and Brooks-Jimenez neck-and-neck in south Oklahoma City Senate race 

In the hotly contested state Senate District 44 race, incumbent Republican state Sen. Ralph Shortey holds a slim 48 percent lead over his Democratic challenger, Michael Brooks-Jimenez. Independent Constance Fawcett  has about 5 percent of the vote.

Brooks-Jimenez is an immigration attorney, and the south side district contains much of the city's Hispanic population.

Updated 7:47 p.m. - Russell leads McAffrey in Fifth District Race

It's still early, but so far Republican former state Sen. Steve Russell leads Democratic state Sen. Al McAffrey 56-42 percent in the Fifth Congressional District race.

Independent candidates Buddy Ray, Tom Boggs, and Robert Murphey are each polling at about one percent.

Updated 7:42 p.m. - Cole re-elected to 7th term representing Oklahoma's Fourth Congressional District

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla. 4) has defeated Democrat Bert Smith and Independent candidate Dennis B. Johnson, representing Lawton, Norman, Moore, and much of south central Oklahoma.

Updated 7:35 p.m. - Mullin re-elected to U.S. House in 2nd District 

Republican U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin has been re-elected to a second term, defeating an independent candidate who was the only challenger left after the death of the Democratic candidate.

Mullin defeated independent candidate Jon Douthitt in Tuesday's election. Democrat Earl Everett died Sunday after sustaining injuries in a traffic accident last week, during the early-voting period.

Mullin represents the 2nd District in eastern Oklahoma.

He was first elected two years ago. He's a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Natural Resources Committee.

Updated 7:32 p.m. - Lucas wins re-election to an 11th term in Congress.

Republican U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas(R-Okla. 3) defeated Democrat Frankie Robbins in Tuesday's election after easily dispatching two GOP challengers in the June primary.

Lucas is chairman of the powerful House Agricultural Committee. He has said he takes no race for granted, despite being heavily favored for re-election. He also has said he's "very focused" on the 3rd District that includes much of the northwestern half of Oklahoma.

Updated 7:25 p.m. - Fallin already holding double-digit lead over Dorman

With about 58,000 votes counted, Gov. Mary Fallin holds a roughly 55-43 percent lead over her challenger, state Rep. Joe Dorman (D-Rush Springs). Independent candidates Kimberly Willis and Richard Prawdzienski account for the other two percent.

Updated 7:21 p.m. - Early Superintendent Results Show Slight Hofmeister Lead Over Cox

Very early returns show Republican Joy Hofmeister with a slight lead over Democrat John Cox in the race for State Superintendent for Public Instruction. With about 18,000 absentee ballots and nearly 32,000 early votes in, Hofmeister has a 52-48 percent lead over Cox.

Updated 7:08 p.m. - Inhofe Secures Another 6-year Term In U.S. Senate

Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe has defeated a Democratic challenger and three independents, securing another six-year term in office.

The 79-year-old Inhofe is Oklahoma's senior U.S. senator. He first won the seat in a special election 20 years ago.

Inhofe is positioned to become the chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee if Republicans take control of the Senate.

Inhofe had a huge advantage in fundraising and name recognition over Democratic challenger Matt Silverstein, a 34-year-old investment planner and political newcomer from Bixby.

Silverstein hammered Inhofe for not participating in any debates. Inhofe countered that people already know who he is and where he stands on issues.

Inhofe was first elected to the Legislature in 1966 and also served as Tulsa mayor and in the U.S. House.

Updated 7:04 p.m. - Lankford Defeats Johnson To Replace Coburn In U.S. Senate

Republican U.S. Rep. James Lankfordhas won election to the open U.S. Senate seat in Oklahoma being vacated by U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn.

A two-term congressman from Edmond, Lankford topped Democrat Connie Johnson and independent Mark Beard in the race to fill the seat for the final two years of Coburn's term. Lankford will have to run again in 2016 for a full six-year term.

The 46-year-old Lankford is a longtime Baptist minister who spent more than a decade as director of Falls Creek, one of the largest Christian youth camps in the country with more than 50,000 attendees annually.

He was a political novice in 2010 when he won an open U.S. House seat. He then rose quickly among the leadership ranks.


KGOU produces journalism in the public interest, essential to an informed electorate. Help support informative, in-depth journalism with a donation online, or contact our Membership department.

Brian Hardzinski is from Flower Mound, Texas and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He began his career at KGOU as a student intern, joining KGOU full time in 2009 as Operations and Public Service Announcement Director. He began regularly hosting Morning Edition in 2014, and became the station's first Digital News Editor in 2015-16. Brian’s work at KGOU has been honored by Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI), the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, the Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters, and local and regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists. Brian enjoys competing in triathlons, distance running, playing tennis, and entertaining his rambunctious Boston Terrier, Bucky.
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