OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahomans made sure their voices were heard when it came to several key primary races during Tuesday’s election.
On Tuesday, voters across the state headed to the polls to vote in a several races for U.S. Senate and U.S. House seats, along with a state question.
Corporation Commission (Republican):
Todd Hiett finished the race with more than 74% of the vote, earning more than 265,000 votes.
Hiett is seeking re-election to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and recently became the chairman of the commission in 2019. In the 1990s, Hiett was elected to serve in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. After several years, he was chosen as the first Republican Speaker of the House in more than 80 years.
United States Senate (Democrat):
Even though less than seven percent of precincts were reporting, the Associated Press declared Abby Broyles the winner of the Democratic race for the U.S. Senate less than an hour after polls had closed.
Broyles finished the night strong, earning more than 163,000 votes, or 60%. Her next closest competitor, Elysabeth Britt, finished with around 45,000 votes.
Broyles was born and raised in Bethany, Oklahoma before she decided to attend college out-of-state. After graduating college, Broyles became a journalist and returned to Oklahoma to focus on investigative reports into politicians and the justice system. She soon decided to put herself through law school while also reporting at KFOR. In her bid for a U.S. Senate seat, Broyles says she wants to work to help close the gender pay gap, create affordable healthcare for Oklahomans with pre-existing conditions, fully fund our military bases, and update federal laws in terms of medical marijuana.
United States Senate (Republican):
Sen. Jim Inhofe
Less than 30 minutes after polls closed across the state, the Associated Press had already declared incumbent Sen. Jim Inhofe the winner of the Republican primary race.
With only the absentee mail in votes and early voting, Inhofe already had more than 33,700 votes, which was nearly six times as many votes as the second closest candidate, J.J. Stitt.
As the evening progressed, Inhofe’s lead only grew.
He finished the night with more than 277,000 votes, or 74%. His next closest competitor, J.J. Stitt, finished with around 57,000 votes.
Sen. Inhofe has been in the United States Senate since 1994. He serves as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He says he is committed to rebuilding the American military to address growing threats from our enemies. Inhofe says he believes that the country should build a wall at the southern border to stop illegal immigration from Mexico and he introduced the Asylum Abuse Reduction Act, which requires migrants to declare asylum at embassies in Mexico or Canada before they can enter the United States. Inhofe says he believes many areas like healthcare and education are better left to the state level rather than legislating it from a federal level.
United States Representative- District 01 (Democrat):
It was a close race between Kojo Asamoa-Caesar and Mark Keeter, but Asamoa-Caesar took an early lead and never looked back.
He finished the night with more than 34,000 votes, or 63%, compared to Keeter’s almost 20,000 votes.
Asamoa-Caesar is a first-generation American who went on to study law at the College of William & Mary. After graduating, Asamoa-Caesar became a kindergarten teacher in Tulsa and was named ‘Teacher of the Year’ in his second year of teaching. Asamoa-Caesar says he wants to enact universal childcare, eliminate tuition at public colleges, cancel all student loan debt, and achieve universal healthcare for all Americans. In the House, he says he wants to strengthen DACA and honor all tribal treaties, rejoin the Paris Agreement, and transition to 100% renewable energy in the future.
United States Representative – District 02 (Republican):
Rep. Markwayne Mullen
With more than 70 percent of precincts reporting, Rep. Markwayne Mullen was declared the winner of the nomination after leading challengers with more than 79% of the vote.
After all the precincts reported their votes, Mullen had an overwhelming lead over challengers Joseph Silk and Rhonda Hopkins.
He finished the race with more than 53,000 votes or 79%. His next closest competitor, Joseph Silk, finished with around 8,400 votes.
Rep. Mullin was first elected to serve in Congress in 2012 and is currently serving his fourth term in office. He currently serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and sits on the Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change, the Subcommittee on Health, and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Mullin says he continually fights for business owners across the country by pushing for reforms to tax codes, ending heavy-handed regulations and rein in spending. He says Americans should have affordable and quality healthcare and favors market-based and patient-centered reforms. Mullin says the government must start charting a course toward balancing the budget.
United States Representative – District 04 (Democrat):
It seems that there will be a rematch in the fight for the U.S. House’s 4th District seat.
Mary Brannon finished Tuesday night with the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House’s 4th District, earning more than 32,000 votes, or 63%.
Brannon won the Democratic primary in 2018 but was defeated by incumbent Tom Cole in the general election. She says she is running for Congress because she wants to protect veterans from organizations that want to privatize the VA, she wants to stop cutting Social Security and Medicare and make the richest 2% of Americans pay their fair share. Brannon says she also wants to fight for affordable health care and lower drug costs for Oklahomans.
United States Representative – District 04 (Republican):
Rep. Tom Cole
From the beginning of the night, Rep. Tom Cole had a strong lead over all other challengers.
As the evening went on, Cole finished with more than 55,000 votes, or 76%. His next closest challenger, James Taylor, finished with around 11,000 votes, or 15%.
Rep. Cole was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002 and he currently serves on the Appropriations Committee and Rules Committee. Cole says plans to continue fighting for a strong national defense and balancing the budget to pay down the national debt. He says he supports legislation that would make changes to Social Security for the next generation of recipients, while leaving the current system in place for those who planned their retirements around it. Cole also helped pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017, which lowered individual income tax rates and lowered the corporate tax rate to 21 percent.
United States Representative – District 05 (Democrat)
Rep. Kendra Horn
Less than an hour after polls closed, Rep. Kendra Horn already had more than 90% of the vote over challenger Tom Guild.
By the end of the night, she had already earned more than 60,000 votes, or 85% of the vote.
Rep. Horn, a fifth generation Oklahoman, is currently serving in her first term in Congress. Horn runs two nonprofits focused on developing leadership skills and encouraging women to run for public office, and she has also worked in the aerospace industry and as an attorney. Horn says she is fighting to expand access to quality, affordable healthcare by holding insurance companies accountable, to expand job training programs, create a comprehensive infrastructure plan to fix crumbling roads and bridges, and find new opportunities for rural investment.
United States Representative- District 05 (Republican):
Runoff: Terry Neese vs Stephanie Bice
Although many of the races had familiar faces in the running, all eyes appeared to be on the battle for the Republican nomination for U.S. House District 5.
In all, nine candidates were vying for votes which ensured that a runoff was likely between the top two candidates. In order to receive the party nomination, a candidate must receive more than 50% of the vote.
As the polls closed, it became clear that it would be a race between Terry Neese and Stephanie Bice.
Although Bice was predicted to be the leader in the race, Neese quickly grabbed the front spot and never looked back.
Neese ended the night with around 25,000 votes, compared to Bice’s 17,000.
Since Neese only earned 36% of the vote, it will go to a runoff.
Bice was elected to the Oklahoma State Senate in 2014 and served for two years as Assistant Majority Floor Leader and Chair of Senate Finance Committee. Bice is well-known for overhauling the state’s liquor laws. In her bid for Congress, Bice says she wants to enforce strong border protections with a wall, additional border agents and technology. She says she wants to work to find a way to address high prescription drug costs while also supporting funding for vocational schools and training programs to expand career options for Oklahomans.
Neese is a successful businesswoman who was awarded the Enterprising Women Legacy Award and the National Women Business Owners Corporation Leadership Award in 2013. In Congress, Neese says she wants to pass long-overdue reforms to simplify our nation’s tax code and cut burdensome regulations on business owners. Neese says her top priority would be helping President Trump fund the border wall along the U.S.- Mexico border. She says she wants to completely repeal Obamacare and replace it with a system that cuts healthcare costs, expands access to quality-care and protects Medicare for seniors.
The runoff election between Bice and Neese is set for Aug. 25.
State Question 802:
Throughout the night, the fight over Medicaid also took the spotlight.
State Question 802 would expand Medicaid across Oklahoma. Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government is responsible for paying for 90% of the costs associated with expanding Medicaid and the state is responsible for the other 10%.
While critics argue that expanding Medicaid would cost the state more money, supporters say it would play a big role in providing healthcare to those in need and saving rural hospitals.
From the beginning, it seemed as though it was going to be a tight race to the finish.
It came down to the wire with less than 7,000 votes separating the two sides.
Once all of the precincts were reporting, it appears the measure passed with 50.48% of the vote and 339,799. There were 333,311 votes against the measure, or 49.52%.