Early and absentee voting is over for the 2018 Oklahoma general election, with the remaining in-person ballots to be cast on Tuesday. As is my custom, I will be discussing my picks for the general election races in this post.
Some of these candidates I am in wholehearted support of. Others will receive my vote with some reservations or primarily because the other options are worse. On still others, I will be casting a protest vote, or skip that race ("undervoting"). If I've written a separate post on a particular race or candidate, there will be a link where you can read in more detail. Candidates that I enthusiastically support will be in bold.
Governor: Kevin Stitt (R)
Oklahoma needs Kevin Stitt as Governor, not only because of the sharp contrast he draws with liberal Democrat Drew Edmondson, but because Stitt will be a strong leader (unlike Fallin) and will stand against the Legislature as it begins to turn to the left.
Lieutenant Governor: Matt Pinnell (R)
Matt Pinnell is a solid candidate, a great guy, and will make a fantastic Lieutenant Governor. Teamed up with Governor Stitt, I would expect great leadership for Oklahoma.
State Auditor: Cindy Byrd (R)
The State Auditor's office is vitally important, especially as we have seen recent fiscal scandals among state agencies and with record levels of tax revenue coming into state coffers. Cindy Byrd has served as Gary Jones' top employee, and will build on the tremendous performance of his tenure. Hopefully, the Legislature will unshackle the State Auditor to allow the office to be more proactive about rooting out waste, as they continually tied Jones' hands out of political motivations.
Attorney General: Mike Hunter (R0
It appears that even the Democratic nominee for governor, Drew Edmondson, voted for Mike Hunter.
State Superintendent: not Joy Hofmeister (R)
From all appearances, Joy Hofmeister and her campaign consultants should have gone to prison for multiple campaign finance felonies back in the 2014 election. Those charges were inexplicably not followed through on. I will not cast a vote for such an unethical candidate. I'll be voting for the Independent in this race out of protest.
Labor Commissioner: absolutely not Leslie Osborn (RINO)
Osborn, a "Republican", is endorsed by the AFL-CIO, voted to make it easier to raise taxes, completely betrayed conservative principles in her final years as a legislator, and ran an incredibly dishonest and nasty campaign in the primary and runoff. I'll be casting a protest vote against her in this race.
Insurance Commissioner: not Glen Mulready (R)
Another Republican who voted to make it easier to raise taxes, Mulready will not be getting my vote. I won't reward such an action with my support.
State Treasurer: not Randy McDaniel (R)
Another Republican who voted to make it easier to raise taxes, McDaniel will not be getting my vote. McDaniel is a fine gentleman, but as previously mentioned, I can't reward that HJR 1050 vote with my support.
Corporation Commissioner: Bob Anthony (R)
This is Anthony's "last hurrah" due to term limits.
1st Congressional District: Kevin Hern (R)
Hopefully Hern will be a worthy successor to former representative Jim Bridenstine.
2nd Congressional District: Richard Castaldo (L)
Markwayne Mullin is a politician running on broken promises and cannot be trusted when he gives his word. I won't reward such dishonorable conduct with my vote, and will cast a protest vote for the Libertarian candidate.
5th Congressional District: Steve Russell (R)
Russell has been a little disappointing in Congress, consistently getting sub-par ratings early in his tenure from conservative organizations like Heritage Action, Club For Growth, the American Conservative Union (his scores have improved some more recently). He is facing a decently strong challenge from a Democrat who is being pushed by radical leftist and pro-abortion groups. This district is beginning to become more competitive as the Oklahoma City metro turns more purple.
State Legislative races
HD2: Jim Olsen (R)
HD8: Tom Gann (R)
HD12: absolutely not McDugle (R), an adulterous individual of atrocious character
HD15: Randy Randleman (R)
HD41: Denise Hader (R)
HD49: Tommy Hardin (R)
HD83: Jason Reese (R)
HD85: Matt Jackson (R)
HD79: Dan Hicks (R)
SD2: Marty Quinn (R)
SD4: Mark Allen (R)
SD6: David Bullard (R)
SD40: Joe Howell (R)
If the Republican in your district is on this list of legislators who voted to make it easier to raise taxes, I'd encourage you to consider at least not voting, if their opposition is unpalatable.
SQ793: Yes. The hysteria from the opposition has been ridiculous, and I'm a fan of competition in a free market. Not particularly a fan of singling out one industry for a constitutional amendment, so if it fails I hope the Legislature addresses this very real problem that is contributing to significantly higher expenses for Oklahoma consumers.
SQ794: No. I'm not convinced that this is a needed measure and could have unintended consequences.
SQ798: No. I still believe having an independent Lieutenant Governor can be beneficial. It also seems to be very poorly written, with an incomplete process to be determined in the future by the Legislature.
SQ800: No. Oklahoma does not need another government fund to pocket away taxpayer money.
SQ801: Yes. This would give flexibility and local control to school boards in funding for their districts.
Oklahoma Supreme Court: for Patrick Wyrick, against the rest
Court of Civil Appeals: for Goree, against the rest
Court of Criminal Appeals: for Rowland and Kuehn, against Rowland
Unless I've heard otherwise to change my mind, I vote against retention. No judge has ever lost a retention vote, so it would take a miracle for that to happen this year. Here is a little more information on the judges, in addition to links at the bottom of this post.
District Judge, District 15, Office 4: James Walters
Conservatives in this five-county district (Muskogee, Wagoner, Cherokee, Sequoyah, and Adair counties) should be supporting Walters. He is a well-respected attorney and a real conservative. His opponent is part of the Democrat "good ol' boys" club and is no conservative.
Associate District Judge, McIntosh County: Brendon Bridges
I have heard good things about Bridges from people I attend church with and who have interviewed both candidates. This race is between a Scalia fan and a Sotomayor fan.
Michael Bates of BatesLine.com, as always, has some excellent insights on this election: the Judges, SQ793 (no), SQ794 (yes?), SQ798 (no), SQ800 (no), SQ801 (yes), on 'Ayatollah' Drew Edmondson, on the need for Governor Stitt,
Charles Phipps of OKPolitechs has a great post on the state questions.
David Van Risseghem of SoonerPolitics.org: SQ798 (no)
Kenny Bob Tapp of Tapp Into Common Sense: vote no on OSC Justices Edmondson, Gurich and Kauger
Steve Fair and Georgia Williams: judges and state questions