U.S. HOUSE RACES
1st District: 10 candidates filed to replace outgoing Congressman Jim Bridenstine. The five Democrats are seemingly led by attorney Tim Gilpin (who leads the field with $13k raised). The Republican side has the strong lead, with businessman Kevin Hern as the frontrunner ($1.1M raised), followed by former Air Force captain Andy Coleman ($230k raised), former DA Tim Harris ($250k raised), State Sen. Nathan Dahm (CPI of +34.3 which is #2 in current OKSenate, $95k raised), and pastor Danny Stockstill ($25k raised). Hern has the big money advantage, but Harris may have better name recognition due to his tenure as District Attorney and [Editor's note: Dahm has experience and voting track record/sc] while Coleman has been endorsed by former presidential candidate Rick Santorum (who won the 1st District in 2012) and five Freedom Caucus congressmen.2nd District: incumbent Republican Markwayne Mullin should be facing his toughest reelection yet, as he is breaking his oft-repeated term limits pledge and seeking a fourth term in office. Mullin has the money lead as expected (60% from mostly out-of-state PACs), with just under $1M raised and $540k on hand. The three Republicans are former Army captain and 2016 GOP challenger Jarrin Jackson ($140k raised), 2016 Independent candidate John McCarthy ($115k raised), and economics professor Brian Jackson ($25k raised; no relation to Jarrin). Four Democrats also filed -- Tahlequah mayor Jason Nichols ($33k raised), former Army colonel and schoolteacher Clay Padgett ($31k raised), Creek Nation official Elijah McIntosh, and perennial candidate Virginia Blue Jeans Jenner. Libertarian Richard Castaldo and Independent John Foreman also filed.
3rd District: incumbent Republican Frank Lucas drew two Democrat opponents, including multi-term challenger Frankie Robbins.4th District: incumbent Republican Tom Cole drew his 2016 primary opponent (James Taylor) again, as well as 4 Democrats and an Independent. None of the challengers has raised more than $1700.
5th District: incumbent Republican Steve Russell ($485k raised, $350k on hand) drew two primary challengers and 6 Democratic opponents. The Democrats are led by Kendra Horn ($290k raised, $120k on hand) and 2012 nominee Tom Guild ($55k raised). Guild lost in runoffs in 2014 and 2016.
STATEWIDE RACESGovernor: the Democratic primary is between former Attorney General Drew Edmondson ($830k raised) and former State Sen. Connie Johnson ($50k raised). Libertarians have a three-way primary. The GOP side is unexpectedly a 10-way jungle, with the addition of four unknowns into the already jam-packed field. Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb ($3.11M raised) leads, with former OKC Mayor Mick Cornett behind ($1.01M raised). Following are attorney and 2002 Independent candidate Gary Richardson ($1.1M raised), businessman Kevin Stitt ($2.2M raised), both of whom have personally loaned over $1M to their campaigns. Pulling up the rear of the previously-known candidates are State Auditor Gary Jones ($65k raised) and former State Rep. Dan Fisher ($130k raised). This race will be a real barn-burner, almost certainly end up in a runoff, and suck up much of the GOP primary money in the state.
Lieutenant Governor: 4 Republicans, 2 Democrats and 1 Independent filed for this office. The GOP field is led by Corporation Commissioner Dana Murphy ($760k "raised", i.e. mostly transferred from her previous campaign) and former OKGOP chair Matt Pinnell ($560k raised). State Sen. Eddie Fields (CPI of +0.7) has raised $80k but will likely not be much of a factor other than possibly pushing the race to a runoff. The Democrats have State Sen. Anastasia Pittman (CPI of -3.2) and businesswoman Anna Dearmore, while former ODP chair Ivan Holmes is running as an Independent.State Auditor: 3 Republicans and 1 Libertarian filed for this office. Cindy Byrd, a lieutenant of current Auditor Gary Jones, should have the edge over the others.
Attorney General: interim A.G. Mike Hunter is going to have a battle on his hands with Gentner Drummond in the GOP primary (the third Republican won't be a factor); Drummond has challenged Hunter's eligibility based on his residency history. If Hunter stays on the ballot, he has a $550k head start. Democrats have Mark Myles, who had the misfortune of losing the 2010 U.S. Senate primary to perennial candidate Jim Rogers, despite actually having run a campaign.State Treasurer: GOP State Rep. Randy McDaniel (CPI of +12.4) almost skated into office unopposed, garnering an Independent on the last day of filing.
State Superintendent: incumbent Joy Hofmeister just may have a competitive primary as she drew two primary challengers, 1994 nominee Linda Murphy and one Will Farrell. Hofmeister has just $44k in the bank. 2014 Democratic nominee John Cox and Independent Larry Huff are the other candidates.Labor Commissioner: this will be another big spender race between Cathy Costello (Labor Commissioner Mark Costello's widow) and State Rep. Leslie Osborn (CPI of -22.3). Costello has $520k in the bank while Osborn had $310k at the end of the year. Another Republican filed but won't factor in. Two no-name Democrats and 1 Independent also filed.
Insurance Commissioner: Republican State Rep. Glen Mulready (CPI of -1.6) drew one Republican and one Democrat opponent, but has a major money advantage (raised over $500k).Corporation Commissioner: this one was a real surprise to me, and may be another sleeper/big-spender race. Bob Anthony is running for his final term (first took office in 1988), and being challenged by 4 Democrats, 2 Republicans, and 1 Independent. Anthony's main competition will be former Senate Pro Tem Brian Bingman (final-term CPI of +5.6) who has raised $375k.
STATE SENATE RACES
3 Democrats and 1 Republican were reelected without opposition. 3 incumbent Republicans avoided primaries but gained general election challengers. SD10 has only Republican candidates, SD28 has Republicans and an Independent, and the rest of the 18 districts have a general election with at least a Republican and a Democrat (some Independents as well).7 Republicans and 2 Democrats filed for SD30, vacated by now-OKC Mayor David Holt. State Reps. Claudia Griffith (D) and John Michael Montgomery (R) filed for Senate instead of reelection to the House. One of the two primary opponents Griffith faces is (of all things in Norman, OK) one Mary Boren (no known relation to former OU President David Boren).
Republicans failed to field a candidate in SD34, the most-Republican Democrat-held seat in the Legislature. Incumbent J.J. Dossett has a CPI score of -22.1, the second-worst in the Senate. This was a disgrace on the part of state and local GOP leadership.
STATE HOUSE RACES10 Democrats and 6 Republican were reelected without opposition. 15 incumbent Republicans and 6 incumbent Democrats avoided primaries but gained general election challengers.
HD11, HD21, HD27, HD30, HD36, HD37, HD38, HD57, and HD74 have only Republican candidates, HD72 and HD99 have only Democratic candidates, and the rest of the 76 districts have a general election with at least a Republican and a Democrat (some Libertarians and Independents as well).2 Democrats and 5 Republicans are running in HD17 (McAlester), the 86th most-Republican out of 101 House seats (Republicans hold just 3 seats that are worse than HD17). HD68 (Jenks) drew 4 Republicans, 3 Democrats, 1 Libertarian and 1 Independent. 6 Republicans, 2 Democrats and 1 Independent filed in HD98 (Broken Arrow). 6 Republicans and 3 Democrats filed in HD41 (narrow strip from Enid to Yukon)
In HD82, vacated by term-limited Republican Kevin Calvey, 1 Democrat and **12** Republicans filed. There absolutely will be a runoff, and the runoff may well be achieved without anybody reaching 20% in the primary.State Rep. Bobby Cleveland (R-HD20) has 5 GOP primary challengers, 1 Democrat, and 1 Independent. House Speaker Charles McCall (R-HD22) had no challengers until the final day of filing, when he drew a Republican, an Independent, and 3 Democrats.
The GOP-only HD37 race is a rematch between State Rep. Steve Vaughan and former Democrat State Rep. Ken Luttrell. Vaughan defeated Luttrell in 2010.State Rep. Will Fourkiller (D-HD86) has withdrawn his candidacy, leaving 2 Democrats and 2 Republicans vying for his seat.