Runoffs decide 22 legislative races

Tuesday, August 24th 2004, 9:38 am
By: News On 6

Voters chose the final slate of candidates Tuesday in runoff contests for this fall's battle for control of the Oklahoma Legislature.

The winners of Democratic runoffs for two state House districts were automatically elected because they drew no Republican opponents.

Mike Brown defeated Jerry Cook with 65 percent of the vote for the District 4 seat of Rep. Jim Wilson, D-Tahlequah, who was elected to the Senate in the July 27 primary election. No Republican filed for the seat.

Republicans also did not seek the House District 7 seat of Rep. Larry Roberts, D-Miami, who is retiring due to term limits. With more than 90 percent of the votes counted, Larry Glenn led Keith Manion with 69 percent of the vote.

Runoff elections were conducted in four Senate districts and 18 House districts where no candidate received a majority of the vote in the primary election. Winners will advance to the Nov. 2 general election, when Democrats and Republicans will battle for control of the Legislature. Retirements and term limits could shift the balance of power in the Legislature this year. Democrats held a 52-48 advantage in the House during the legislative session this spring.

In Senate District 13, Susan Paddack received 55 percent of the vote to defeat Mike Wilkerson, brother of term-limited Sen. Dick Wilkerson, D-Atwood, for the Democratic nomination.

Paddack will face Republican Karroll G. Rhoads of Ada in the Nov. 2 general election.

In Senate District 41, Clark Jolley received 54 percent of the vote to defeat David Miley for the Republican nomination for the seat begin vacated by term-limited Sen. Mark Snyder, R-Edmond.

Jolley will meet Democrat James H. Buxton in the general election.

In House District 40, Mike Jackson defeated Bill Noak for the Republican nomination for the seat vacated by retiring Rep. Mike O'Neal, R-Enid. Jackson will face Democrat Mike Frickenschmidt in the general election

Ryan Kiesel of Seminole received less than 51 percent of the vote to win the Democratic nomination for the District 28 House seat vacated by Rep. Dan Boren, D-Paden, the Democratic nominee for the 2nd Congressional District.

Kiesel received 49 more votes than Democrat Jeremy Hendricks of Seminole. Kiesel will face Republican Billy Choate of Seminole on Nov. 2.

Ken Miller received 57 percent of the vote to defeat Leonard Scott for the GOP nomination for the District 81 seat of term-limited Rep. Ray Vaughn, R-Edmond. Miller will face Democrat Bryan Carlile in the general election.

In House District 84, Sally Kern defeated Connie Graves, wife of term-limited Rep. Bill Graves, R-Oklahoma City, for the Republican nomination. Kern received 60 percent of the vote and will face Democrat Ronald E. Wasson in November.

John Auffet received 51 percent of the vote for the Democratic nomination in House District 86, which is being vacated by Democratic House Speaker Larry Adair of Stilwell. W.H. Bill Langley Jr. received 49 percent.

In the Republican runoff in District 86, Russell Don Turner defeated Hiram McFarland by just 20 votes.

In House District 92, Richard Morrissette received 57 percent of the vote to defeat Patti Muzny for the Democratic nomination and will face Republican Ron Higgins on Nov. 2.

Mike Shelton won the Democratic nomination in House District 92 with 54 percent of the vote over Ronald Skip Kelly, who received 45 percent. Shelton will face Republican Harold Roberts in November.

Forty-two legislators, mostly in the House, are reaching their 12-year term limits and are retiring from office. Several others are retiring early. Of the 18 House runoffs, 15 are Democratic contests.

The runoff election will not include a statewide race or a congressional contest. Democrat Brad Carson and Republican Tom Coburn avoided runoffs in the primary for the U.S. Senate by getting more than 50 percent of the vote.

They will meet in a general election showdown on Nov. 2. Also on the ballot will be Sheila Bilyeu, an independent from Oak Hall, Va.