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Oklahoma primary: teachers, marijuana and a governor's race

Nearly 100 educators and administrators are running for seats in the Oklahoma Legislature during a primary election that also will narrow the crowded field for governor

Published on June 27, 2018 12:01AM

Last changed on June 27, 2018 1:54AM

FILE - In this April 10, 2018, file photo, Benita Boone, right, an educator joining on the 110-mile trip from Tulsa to the state Capitol, shouts as the walkers rally with other teachers while protests continue over school funding, in Oklahoma City, Okla. The Oklahoma Supreme Court says an initiative petition that would overturn a package of tax hikes for funding teacher pay raises and public schools is invalid. The court handed down the order Friday, June 22, 2018, and ordered that the initiative petition not appear on the general election ballot in November. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

The Associated Press

FILE - In this April 10, 2018, file photo, Benita Boone, right, an educator joining on the 110-mile trip from Tulsa to the state Capitol, shouts as the walkers rally with other teachers while protests continue over school funding, in Oklahoma City, Okla. The Oklahoma Supreme Court says an initiative petition that would overturn a package of tax hikes for funding teacher pay raises and public schools is invalid. The court handed down the order Friday, June 22, 2018, and ordered that the initiative petition not appear on the general election ballot in November. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

Republican gubernatorial candidate Mick Cornett, right, gives a telephone interview during his watch party in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

The Associated Press

Republican gubernatorial candidate Mick Cornett, right, gives a telephone interview during his watch party in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Kevin Stitt speaks to supporters at his election watch party for Oklahoma Governor candidate Kevin Stitt at Gateway Mortgage in Jenks, Okla., Tuesday, June 26, 2018.  (Stephen Pingry/Tulsa World via AP)

The Associated Press

Kevin Stitt speaks to supporters at his election watch party for Oklahoma Governor candidate Kevin Stitt at Gateway Mortgage in Jenks, Okla., Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Stephen Pingry/Tulsa World via AP)

Oklahoma Lt. Governor Todd Lamb waves to supporters as he walks off the stage on election night during the Republican primary for Governor in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

The Associated Press

Oklahoma Lt. Governor Todd Lamb waves to supporters as he walks off the stage on election night during the Republican primary for Governor in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

FILE - In this Thursday, June 21, 2018 file photo, people vote at the Oklahoma County Board of Elections in Oklahoma City during early, in-person absentee voting. Oklahoma election officials say nearly twice as many Republicans and Democrats are voting early in this year's primary elections compared to four years ago, and enthusiasm is particularly high among Democrats. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

The Associated Press

FILE - In this Thursday, June 21, 2018 file photo, people vote at the Oklahoma County Board of Elections in Oklahoma City during early, in-person absentee voting. Oklahoma election officials say nearly twice as many Republicans and Democrats are voting early in this year's primary elections compared to four years ago, and enthusiasm is particularly high among Democrats. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

FILE - In this April 26, 2018, file photo, state Rep. Bobby Cleveland, R-Slaughterville, speaks in Oklahoma City. Cleveland voted against a tax hike to fund raises for teachers and now finds himself facing an opponent who was a teacher, elementary school principal Sherrie Conley. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

The Associated Press

FILE - In this April 26, 2018, file photo, state Rep. Bobby Cleveland, R-Slaughterville, speaks in Oklahoma City. Cleveland voted against a tax hike to fund raises for teachers and now finds himself facing an opponent who was a teacher, elementary school principal Sherrie Conley. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

In this Friday, June 8, 2018 photo, elementary school principal Sherrie Conley, who is running for state representative in District 20, talks with a constituent at a bagel shop in Norman, Okla. Conley is part of a wave of about 100 educators, including dozens of Republicans, who are running for office in the aftermath of a teacher walk-out that shut down public schools for two weeks this spring and opened an unusually bitter chasm in the state’s ruling party. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

The Associated Press

In this Friday, June 8, 2018 photo, elementary school principal Sherrie Conley, who is running for state representative in District 20, talks with a constituent at a bagel shop in Norman, Okla. Conley is part of a wave of about 100 educators, including dozens of Republicans, who are running for office in the aftermath of a teacher walk-out that shut down public schools for two weeks this spring and opened an unusually bitter chasm in the state’s ruling party. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

In this Wednesday, June 20, 2018 photo, Pat McFerron, a longtime Republican political consultant and pollster, speaks in Oklahoma City. McFerron has said that incumbents are generally going to be more successful in the upcoming election. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

The Associated Press

In this Wednesday, June 20, 2018 photo, Pat McFerron, a longtime Republican political consultant and pollster, speaks in Oklahoma City. McFerron has said that incumbents are generally going to be more successful in the upcoming election. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Nearly 100 educators and administrators were running for seats in the Oklahoma Legislature during a primary election Tuesday that narrowed the crowded field for governor.

Voters on Tuesday also approved the nation's first medical marijuana ballot question this year.

After massive demonstrations by teachers at the Capitol, some have taken matters into their own hands and are running for state House and Senate seats. Some are Republicans challenging GOP incumbents who voted against tax increases that funded teacher pay hikes.

In other key races, 15 candidates are seeking term-limited Republican Gov. Mary Fallin's seat.

TEACHER CANDIDATES

This year's three-day candidate filing period in April coincided with a two-week teacher walkout in which thousands of frustrated educators and their supporters thronged the Capitol demanding more funding for public schools. The result? Nearly 100 public school teachers and administrators are running for seats in the state House and Senate this year, many making their first-ever run for office. Many of these candidates will get their first political test in Tuesday's primary election. Some are Republicans challenging GOP incumbents who voted against tax increases that funded teacher pay hikes.

GOVERNOR

Fifteen candidates — two Democrats, 10 Republicans and three Libertarians — ran to replace Fallin, who has served eight years as the state's chief executive. Most of the attention, and money, has been focused on the Republican primary, which included former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, state Auditor Gary Jones, trial attorney Gary Richardson and Tulsa mortgage company founder Kevin Stitt.

Cornett advanced to the August 28 Republican runoff Tuesday. Lamb, 46, told supporters Tuesday at an election night party that it appears he lacks the votes to make a two-way runoff for the nomination.

Stitt held a slight lead over Lamb for the second spot with nearly all votes counted in the 10-candidate Republican primary. Running as a political outsider, Stitt reported raising $4.2 million, including $2.1 million of his own money.

On the Democratic side, former Oklahoma Attorney General clinched the nomination over ex-state Sen. Connie Johnson. The $1.5 million Edmondson raised was more than 20 times as much as Johnson.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Oklahoma voters on Tuesday approved the medicinal use of marijuana, despite opposition from law enforcement and business, faith and political leaders.

State Question 788 was the result of an activist-led signature drive. It allows physicians to approve medical marijuana licenses for people to legally grow, keep and use cannabis. The proposal doesn't list any qualifying medical conditions, allowing doctors to prescribe it for a wide range of ailments.

Opponents had argued the proposal was too loosely written, and Gov. Mary Fallin said it would essentially allow recreational use. She warned that if the measure passed, she would have to call lawmakers into a special session to develop rules regulating the industry in Oklahoma.

It's the first marijuana question on a state ballot in 2018. Elections are scheduled for later this year in Michigan and Utah.

CONGRESS

While there are no U.S. Senate races this cycle in Oklahoma, there is plenty of primary action in all five of Oklahoma's Republican-held U.S. House districts. Five Republicans and five Democrats ran for the only open U.S. House seat — the 1st Congressional District in Tulsa, which was left open after former Republican Rep. Jim Bridenstine was tapped to lead NASA. U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas, the state's longest serving current congressman who is seeking his thirteenth term in the sprawling 3rd District, was the only incumbent who does not have a primary challenger.

ATTORNEY GENERAL

The top two candidates in the most heated statewide primary race advanced in the Republican primary for attorney general. Sitting Attorney General Mike Hunter led the three-candidate race and face Tulsa attorney Gentner Drummond in a runoff for the GOP nomination. Hunter was appointed to the post by Fallin after former Attorney General Scott Pruitt was tapped by President Donald Trump to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A series of attack ads launched by Hunter and Drummond provided plenty of fireworks.

Angela Bonilla finished third in Republican race.

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Associated Press writer Adam Kealoha Causey contributed to this report.

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Follow Sean Murphy at www.twitter.com/apseanmurphy



 

 

 

 

 

 

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