Friday, August 31, 2018

Runoff election results recap

The runoff election was held on Tuesday, and this is the first chance I've had to sit down and post about the results. There were some shockers, some nail-biters, and some expected results from the voting. Let's get right into it.

Governor: Republican Kevin Stitt defeated Mick Cornett by nine points, 54.56% to 45.44%, winning all but nine counties (OKC metro and some north-central counties). Libertarian Chris Powell defeated Rex Lawhorn 59.07% to 40.93%. The two nominess will now face Democrat Drew Edmondson in the general election.

Lieutenant Governor: Republican Matt Pinnell happily surprised me by handily defeating Dana Murphy 58.14% to 41.86%. Pinnell garnered the highest percentage and most votes of any candidate on the ballot Tuesday, winning 70 of 77 counties. Murphy lost both major metros, which she won in the primary, only pulling ahead in seven north-western counties. He faces Democrat Anastasia Pittman and Independent Ivan Holmes in the November election.

State Auditor: Despite being massively outspent, Republican Cindy Byrd edged out Charlie Prater for a 951-vote victory. It was back and forth all night until the final 50 precincts reported their numbers. Byrd received 50.17% to Prater's 49.83%. Byrd will face Libertarian John Yeutter in the general (no Democrat filed).

Attorney General: Republican Mike Hunter squeaked through the runoff on the edge of a knife, defeating Gentner Drummond by a mere 269 votes out of 296,000 cast. At 50.05% to 49.95%, this was the closest statewide race in quite some time. He will face Democrat Mark Myles in November.

State Superintendent: Republican Joy Hofmeister beat challenger Linda Murphy 56.68% to 43.32%. She will face Democrat John Cox and Independent Larry Huff in the general.

Labor Commissioner: AFL-CIO-backed Republican Leslie Osborn pulled out a victory over Cathy Costello, 52.35% to 47.65%. She will face Democrat Fred Dorrell and Independent Brandt Dismukes in November.

Corporation Commissioner: Republican Bob Anthony emerged victorious once again, beating Brian Bingman 53.61% to 46.39%.  He will face Democrat Ashley McCray and Independent Jackie Short in the general election.

1st Congressional District: Republican Kevin Hern defeated Tim Harris 54.92% to 45.08%. Democrat Tim Gilpin beat Amanda Douglas 59.38% to 40.62%. The two will face off in November.

2nd Congressional District: Democrat Jason Nichols beat Clay Padgett 56.84% to 43.16%. He will face Republican Congressman Markwayne Mullin, Libertarian Richard Castaldo, and Independent John Foreman in the general election.

4th Congressional District: Democrat Mary Brannon defeated Fred Gipson 57.51% to 42.49%. She will face Republican Congressman Tom Cole and Independent Ruby Peters in November.

5th Congressional District: Democrat Kendra Horn crushed Tom Guild 75.8% to 24.2%. She will face Republican Congressman Steve Russell in the general election.

I'll address legislative runoffs in more detail in a later post, but of the 10 Republican incumbents who were in a runoff, six conservatives, one conservative defeated his challenger (and has no general election opponent), and all three moderates won.

If you want to dig through the election results on your own, here are the results for the entire state, and here are the results by county.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Trump calls Kevin Stitt, tweets endorsement

After clinching the Republican nomination for Governor with a 9-point victory over Mick Cornett, Kevin Stitt has now received the public endorsement of President Donald Trump.


Tulsa, Okla. (Aug. 30, 2018) – Following a phone call from the President Donald J. Trump, Kevin Stitt, the Republican candidate for Governor of Oklahoma, welcomed today the President’s official endorsement:

“I am honored to receive the endorsement of President Trump,” said Kevin Stitt. “I am ready to work with President Trump to support our veterans, advance our military bases here in Oklahoma, and make much-needed investments in our state’s roads and bridges.”

Monday, August 27, 2018

OCPA column: Better teacher pay

Better teacher pay
by Jonathan Small, president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA)

How many teachers can be hired with a school superintendent’s compensation?

This isn’t a riddle. It’s data relevant to the school shutdowns of 2018 when educators went on strike in Oklahoma and elsewhere.

In Oklahoma City Public Schools, 4.8 teaching positions could be funded with the compensation going to the superintendent. And this doesn’t include all of the other management and middle-management positions in the district.

In Tulsa Public Schools, the one salary would pay for seven teaching positions. In Union Public Schools, it’s 5.5. Yukon is 5.2, Jenks is 5.1, and Enid is 4.9.

This according to data gleaned by Jonathan Butcher for a new Heritage Foundation white paper on public school funding (“Look to School District Budgets for Better Teacher Pay”).

His point is that state lawmakers – juggling competing interests ranging from Medicaid to corrections to highways – are not an ATM that can satisfy every demand of local school districts.

Local school districts can and should improve their own budgeting, prioritizing the spending that benefits students. There are savings to be found, and not just in the area of administrative overhead.

For example, Butcher points out that OKCPS spends $2.4 million annually to maintain 1,000 empty classrooms.

“The district reports that nearly 40 percent of elementary school seats are empty and nearly one out of four seats in middle and high schools is empty – resulting in one-third of all ‘instructional space’ going unused,” he writes.

For the price of all those empty classrooms, the district could give all its teachers raises of $1,000 a year.

State Question 801, on the ballot this fall, would give local schools even more flexibility with their own funding by removing an earmark from certain dollars that require them to go only to buildings or related expenses. Of course, school buildings are important, but local districts should be able to decide whether teacher pay or new textbooks are a greater need than new bleachers or resurfacing the parking lot.

This much-needed flexibility could help prevent some dubious spending decisions. Catoosa Public Schools, for example, switched to a four-day school week and reduced staff—while the district also (thanks to building millages) bought MacBook computers for all middle- and high-school students and approved a $1.5 million press box at the high school football field.

Bottom line: Butcher is correct. “Before rushing to raise taxes and increasing taxpayers’ burdens,” he writes, “lawmakers and voters should urge districts to use resources more efficiently for the benefit of students.”

Jonathan Small serves as president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.

OCPA president rebukes Senator’s attacks on students who attend private schools

OCPA president rebukes Senator’s continued attacks on students who attend private schools

After State Sen. Ron Sharp, R-Shawnee, called an interim study to pressure the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association to kick students who attend private school out of some athletic competitions, Jonathan Small, president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA), made the following statement:

“Sen. Sharp’s actions are misguided. Not only should state politicians stay out of these issues, but holding an interim study imposes financial costs and is yet another distraction from the real issues facing our state.

“Unfortunately, this is yet another example of Sen. Sharp’s personal vendetta against students who attend private school. During an education committee meeting in 2017, Sen. Sharp compared policies that give families choices in education to Nazi torture. He continues his attack on these students and families by trying to use his power to influence school sports.”

Lankford endorses Rep. Sean Roberts

Today, U.S. Senator James Lankford endorsed Rep. Sean Roberts in his reelection bid for House District 36.

Regarding Roberts, Lankford said, "I'm proud to endorse Sean Roberts for house district 36. Sean is a proven Christian conservative. Sean was a delegate for President Trump, endorsed by the NRA, has a 100% rating from Oklahomans For Life, and is a fighter for our conservative values. Please join me in supporting Sean Roberts for House District 36 on Tuesday."

OCPAC, Meadows, Blair urge Fisher voters to support Stitt

In the latest email from the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee, three prominent members in the organization called for conservatives of all stripes, but supporters of Dan Fisher in particular, to vote for Kevin Stitt in the gubernatorial runoff.

New OCPAC President Bob Linn, former president Charlie Meadows, and Pastor Paul Blair all wrote in support of Stitt. Their comments are posted below:

The state of the Church is a matter of concern and requires our continued prayer and involvement.  A weak Church does not, however, relieve us of the very responsibilities we have been urging God’s people to assume for more than a year now.  I write this today to respond to a group of “Christian activists” who have indicated they will be inactive this Tuesday when the opportunity to vote for Kevin Stitt presents itself.  Yet, Governor Stitt represents the conservative political leadership that will mean our best chance for an open door at the very top of Oklahoma government.  OCPAC and Oklahoma’s other conservative groups will never have the ear of Mick Cornett.  We have that possibility with Kevin Stitt.  I urge all our readers and the 36,000 Dan Fisher voters to help place a potential friend in the Governor’s seat on Tuesday!

Pastor Paul Blair's Take on the Republican Runoff Election

In 2016, I decided to support Ted Cruz for President.  While none of the candidates checked every box, he was the one with whom I was most comfortable.  As we know, Donald Trump won the nomination.  In the general election, I crossed my fingers and voted against Hillary and voted for Trump.  Although there are days I shake my head, by and large, I have been pleased with the majority of President Trump's decisions.

In 2018, I was a strong supporter of my dear friend Dan Fisher.  Dan was a known commodity.  We knew exactly what we'd get with Dan.  Unfortunately, money matters in campaigns and we didn't have the money to gain the necessary name ID for Dan to win.

So here we are.  Either Drew Edmondson, Mick Cornett or Kevin Stitt will be our next Governor.

I cannot support Edmondson.  He is honest in his campaign, but he honestly supports things I don't - higher taxes, government control,  abortion on demand, LGBT agenda, etc.

I like Mick personally.  I remember his days as a sportscaster.  However, Mick was wrong in leading OKC in creating a special "protected class" for LGBT personnel.  LGBT is not a race or gender; it is behavior that the Bible classifies as sinful.  He intentionally betrayed Oklahomans who still believe the Bible is God's Word.  At best, Mick is a moderate Republican along the lines of a John Kasich.

Much like Trump, Kevin Stitt is an unknown.  However, I have had the opportunity to visit with him on several occasions since the primary and two things impress me.  1) He is a successful businessman who understands a balance sheet and demands accountability.  That is something we must have as our current state government is a circus.  2)  He recognizes areas in which he does not have great depth and needs help.   A good leader doesn't have to have all the answers, but must surround himself with counselors that are experts in their fields and do have the answers.

I am hopeful that Governor Stitt will surround himself with "our people" - small government, freedom loving, abortion hating, state sovereignty minded counselors.  If we support him and he trusts us, we will have that opportunity.  If we attack him and alienate him, why would he trust us?

Is Stitt a sure thing?  Nope.  But consider all the "sure things" who conned OCPAC during the interview process and currently hold office at 23rd and Lincoln.  The only sure things for Governor had the last names of Brogdon and Fisher, but I know what we'll get with Edmondson or Cornett.

I will be voting for Kevin Stitt for Governor.  Mary turned out to be Oklahoma's biggest disappointment.  I am hopeful that Stitt will be Oklahoma's most pleasant surprise. 

Charlie Meadows in North Pole, Alaska   

This in from North Pole, Alaska:  Charlie says, “If you don’t vote for Kevin Stitt this Tuesday, Santa Clause will not visit your house this Christmas!”

Charlie filled in at North Pole’s Santa’s House for a few minutes on Saturday where he also made himself available for political commentary.  Unconfirmed rumors have been overheard that he actually granted the youngest of Kevin Stitt’s six children their Christmas wish that daddy would be our next governor!

Charlie continued to say, “In all seriousness, it is time for us to vote for the better of the two Republicans.  That is clearly Kevin Stitt.  We know who Mick Cornett is.  He has a track record.  He is not a conservative.  Kevin’s core values are conservative.  We have a much better chance of him governing according to the principles of good government.  Members of OCPAC and other grass roots conservatives have a far better opportunity to share conservative values with Kevin Stitt than we do with Mick Cornett.  Mick Cornett is squarely in the lap of 'the tall building crowd' and will govern according to their wishes.

To refuse to vote for anyone who does not carry the Fisher banner to abolish abortion and re-establish state sovereignty sounds very principled.  Dan did an excellent job of articulating with clarity the importance of these twin issues.  However, last June 26, 92% of all Republicans chose a candidate with a different message.  To force Stitt to commit to the Fisher message would only guarantee his defeat.  Stitt has said nothing, that I am aware of, which would keep him from supporting either of these lofty goals sometime in the future.  We need to help him, as only a Stitt victory will give us a governor who is not committed to establishment funding."

Sunday, August 26, 2018

My picks for the 2018 Oklahoma GOP runoff

Early and absentee voting is underway for the 2018 Oklahoma runoff election, with the bulk of ballots to be cast on Tuesday. As is my custom, I will be discussing my picks for the Republican 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. If I've written a separate post on a particular race or candidate, their name will be hyperlinked, and you can read in more detail by clicking the link. Candidates that I enthusiastically support will be in bold.

Governor: Kevin Stitt
I will be voting for Kevin Stitt without reservation. The vulgar and crude direction Mick Cornett has taken with his campaign speaks volumes about his lack of character. Under Kevin Stitt, I believe we would have a Governor who is willing to hold the line and rein in government. Stitt is the only choice for conservatives in this runoff.

Lieutenant Governor: Matt Pinnell
I 100% support Matt Pinnell, and anticipate him making a great Lieutenant Governor.

State Auditor: Cindy Byrd
As Deputy State Auditor under Gary Jones, Byrd has been an major part of the work the Auditor's office has done during Jones' tenure. In the last eight years, she has uncovered over $10M in fraud and waste, leading to the indictment or resignation of six elected officials. She will carry on that stellar performance, and will continue to uncover waste in government. She has earned the endorsement of State Auditor Gary Jones, and I concur with his pick.

The Auditor's race is one of the most crucial offices that we as Oklahomans vote on. If we get it right, the potential for holding government accountable and uncovering waste goes up. Get it wrong and corruption gets hidden.

Charlie Prater is running a crooked campaign, and is literally supported by disgraced former politicians that the Auditor's office got convicted of crimes. Prater should not be allowed anywhere near the office of State Auditor.

Attorney General: Mike Hunter
I will be voting against Gentner Drummond. The race for Attorney General has been extraordinarily negative. Drummond in particular has been running a slimy race that is disgraceful of any person seeking the position of top law enforcement officer in the state.

Hunter isn't clean as the wind-driven snow in this race, either, with both candidates exhibiting the worst stereotypes of slick, dirty lawyers slinging mud at each other. I'm quite frankly disgusted by this race. However, Drummond has far surpassed Hunter in dirty campaigning.

Michael Bates makes a good argument (as usual) in favor of Hunter and in opposition of Drummond: "[I]n a time when freedom of conscience is under attack, particularly with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity, we need an Attorney General who will stand up for our rights, and Gentner Drummond is a major backer of a judicial candidate who believes that adoption agencies should be forced by government to violate their beliefs; Drummond himself refused to express an opinion on SB1140, which protects the rights of adoption agencies to make decisions in the best interests of the child and in accordance with their values."

I am not a Mike Hunter fan, but Gentner Drummond and his handlers are running one of THE sleaziest, dirtiest campaigns I've ever witnessed. I cast a protest vote in the primary, but will vote Hunter in the runoff to keep Drummond and his ilk far away from public office.

State Superintendent: Linda Murphy
Incumbent Joy Hofmeister is in the pocket of the leftist unions that are the biggest problem facing education in Oklahoma. Linda Murphy led the charge against Common Core, and will bring much-needed reforms to the State Department of Education.

Labor Commissioner: Cathy Costello
Cathy Costello will continue the work done by her late husband, Labor Commissioner Mark Costello. She is facing Leslie Osborn, who over the past few years has compromised and tossed aside just about every conservative principle she once espoused. Osborn led the charge for higher taxes, voted to make it easier for the Legislature to raise taxes, and called for war to be waged against the principled conservatives in the Legislature. Tom Coburn has endorsed Costello, and I fully support her candidacy as well.

Osborn has been running a nasty campaign against Costello, pushing bald-faced lies and misrepresentations about Costello's record and history. It should come as no surprise that she is being supported by the AFL-CIO and the same Hillary Clinton bundler that supports Mick Cornett, or that her campaign is being run by the same cabal that is running the extremely negative campaigns of Drummond and third-party groups attacking conservative legislators.

Corporation Commissioner: Bob Anthony
While I am not a fan of his having been on the Corporation Commissioner since before I was born, I do believe Anthony has been a solid conservative in his position (the same can't be said for most who have been on the Commission). His challenger is former State Senate Pro Tem Brian Bingman, who ended his legislative career with a less-than-satisfactory Conservative Index score of 59. This is Anthony's last eligible race due to term limits.

1st Congressional District: Tim Harris
Kevin Hern's campaign has been supported by the moderate establishment wing of the DC GOP. Meanwhile, Tim Harris is being supported by OKWU President Everett Piper and former Congressman Jim Bridenstine's dad. The two best choices in this race were eliminated in the primary, and neither Harris nor Hern have major points that push themselves ahead of the other in my view. If I was in the 1st District, I'd vote for Tim Harris, while not expecting either of the two candidates to come close to Jim Bridenstine's conservatism.

Legislative races
The future direction of the Oklahoma Legislature is at stake this primary season. This past few legislative sessions, conservatives in the Legislature have fought and stood up for the taxpayer against an overwhelming onslaught of higher taxes and liberal policies, pushed by their own GOP leadership and governor. Freshmen classes for the last several elections have been major disappointments, co-opted by power-hungry moderates who have decided to wage civil war on conservatives.

It is vitally important that proven conservative incumbents be reelected, and that new conservatives win in open seats or oust liberal compromisers.

I don't know about candidates in all of the races, but I feel comfortable enough to make the following recommendations.

HD10: Rep. Travis Dunlap
HD14: Rep. George Faught
HD20: Rep. Bobby Cleveland
HD27: Dave Spaulding
HD30: Kent Glesener
HD36: Rep. Sean Roberts
HD41: Denise Hader
HD63: Rep. Jeff Coody
HD68: Nicole Nixon
HD79: Dan Hicks
HD80: Rep. Mike Ritze
HD101: Rep. Tess Teague

Tulsa County Assessor: John Wright


Michael Bates of has a great post with his thoughts on the runoffs here. I agree with almost everything he wrote.
KFAQ's Pat Campbell has done radio interviews with many statewide and legislative candidates here (some were eliminated in the primary).

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Kevin Stitt for Governor

Kevin Stitt was not my top choice for Governor in the primary. Quite frankly, there were several GOP candidates I had in front of him. However, Stitt surged from obscurity into the runoff with Mick Cornett.

I will be voting for Kevin Stitt without reservation.

As I said back in June, Mick Cornett was the only Republican candidate that I absolutely could not vote for. He was - and is - the clear liberal in the race, even supported by a Super PAC funded by a Hilary Clinton bundler. Richard Engle penned a great column on the evidence of Cornett's liberal leanings. Cornett would be Mary Fallin 2.0, or worse. I will never vote for Mick Cornett under any circumstance.

Cornett has merely solidified my resolve in the runoff.

The vulgar and crude direction his campaign has taken speaks ill of the character of the candidate. There is no excuse for stooping to the lows that he and his campaign have taken. No amount of "it's just politics", "that's just how this is done", or attempts to shrug it off will do. It reflects back on the integrity of Mick Cornett, and I find him to weighed in the balance and found wanting.

Kevin Stitt is a businessman who has had tremendous success in building a company during trying economic times. As his company has grown, and with the arena they operate in, there have been some issues [relatively minor in the scheme of things], but he has taken responsibility and made corrections when needed. That personal responsibility could not be said for Mick Cornett and his campaign direction.

Stitt has made government transparency and accountability a major theme of his campaign, something that Mary Fallin failed to do in her eight years. I believe this is incredibly important moving forward, especially as tax collections increase and state government clamors over how to spend the new surpluses we will likely have over the next few years.

On the important issues of life, constitutional freedoms, and religious liberties, Kevin Stitt will be much more reliable than Mick Cornett, who has failed to prove during his tenure in municipal government that he would defend those principles.

During the primary, Kevin Stitt took the time to answer my gubernatorial candidate survey, which went into depth on ten different widely ranging topics. You can read that here. Mick Cornett failed to respond - the only candidate unwilling to go on record (a common thread during his campaign).

In recent days, Stitt has been endorsed by former U.S. Senator and conservative stalwart Tom Coburn, 2016 Oklahoma presidential winner Ted Cruz, and 2012 Oklahoma presidential primary winner Rick Santorum.

A Mick Cornett administration would likely be a repeat of the Fallin years, with an increasingly liberal GOP legislature growing government and raising taxes. Under Kevin Stitt, I believe we would have a Governor who is willing to hold the line and rein in government.

On Tuesday, I will be casting my vote for the only conservative choice for Governor, Kevin Stitt.

Friday, August 24, 2018

State Auditor Jones responds to candidate Prater's lies and attacks

State Auditor: It’s Time To Set The Record Straight

It’s tough sitting on the sidelines while someone demeans your record, office, and leadership.

Charlie Prater, who is running to be state auditor, has built his entire campaign on false accusations and baseless lies.

Prater accused Deputy State Auditor Cindy Byrd of campaigning on state time and bilking taxpayers out of tens of thousands of dollars in travel expenses. The TRUTH is Cindy Byrd has not spent a single dime of taxpayer’s money. She travels at her own expense and takes personal leave time to campaign.

Now Prater has reverted to making accusations of corruption at the State Auditor’s Office.

It’s okay to disagree with our audits or the job we’ve done safeguarding taxpayer dollars. But, no one has questioned the integrity of the State Auditor’s Office since I took office 7½ years ago.

The State Auditor should not be about misleading the public and Charlie’s done it again and again.

He surrounds himself with corrupt officials who were ousted due to Cindy’s audits. He chose a disgraced former state representative as his campaign manager for whom this is partly personal. If this is how he campaigns, how will he audit?

It’s a shame that Prater has sunk so low that he’s now attacking the State Auditor’s Office and the hard-working public servants who work here, including Cindy Byrd – all because he knows he can’t compete with the better qualified, more experienced public servant that Cindy Byrd, CPA, has been for Oklahomans throughout her career.

The only corruption I see is in his lack of scruples and win-at-all-costs, scorched-earth operation. I guarantee you corruption does not exist in this agency.

Gary A. Jones, CPA, CFE
Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Pre-Runoff Finance Reports: other Statewide races

Continuing through the pre-primary campaign finance reports, we'll now look at some of the remaining down-ballot statewide races. As in previous posts on this topic, the totals are campaign-to-date.



Charlie Prater (R)
Total raised: $440,400.00 (includes $306,000.00 loan)
Total spent: $383,820.19
Total cash-on-hand: $56,579.80
Burn rate: 87.15%

Cindy Byrd (R)
Total raised: $119,198.79
Total spent: $83,289.30
Total cash-on-hand: $28,434.52
Burn rate: 74.55%

John Uzzo (R)
Total raised: $350.00
Total spent: $230.00
Total cash-on-hand: $120.00


John Yeutter (L)
Total raised: $4,243.96
Total spent: $3,362.52
Total cash-on-hand: $881.44
Burn rate: 65.71%



Mike Hunter (R)
Total raised: $2,147,986.11 (includes $700,000 personal loan)
Total spent: $1,921,131.01
Total cash-on-hand: $215,810.91
Burn rate: 89.9%

Gentner Drummond (R)
Total raised: $2,166,641.60 (includes $1,280,000 personal loan)
Total spent: $1,902,393.15
Total cash-on-hand: $234,251.85
Burn rate: 89.04%

Angela Bonilla (R)
Total raised: $1,506.44
Total spent: $2,622.48
Total cash-on-hand: $-1,297.48


Mark Myles (D)
Total raised: $36,549.18
Total spent: $23,131.50
Total cash-on-hand: $5,128.50
Burn rate: 81.85%


Randy McDaniel (R)
Total raised: $292,933.37
Total spent: $42,878.59
Total cash-on-hand: $248,624.23
Burn rate: 14.71%

Charles De Coune (I)
Total raised: $17,797.00 (includes $5,000 loan)
Total spent: $1,944.87
Total cash-on-hand: $15,852.13
Burn rate: 10.93%



Joy Hofmeister (R)
Total raised: $438,635.42
Total spent: $333,510.01
Total cash-on-hand: $102,780.52
Burn rate: 76.44%

Linda Murphy (R)
Total raised: $21,913.93
Total spent: $17,490.29
Total cash-on-hand: $3,589.71
Burn rate: 82.97%

Will Farrell (R)
Total raised: $3,168.00 ($2,268 in personal loans)
Total spent: $3,053.45
Total cash-on-hand: $114.55


John Cox (D)
Total raised: $22,386.74
Total spent: $15,401.18
Total cash-on-hand: $6,653.82
Burn rate: 69.83%


Glen Mulready (R)
Total raised: $698,499.93
Total spent: $571,340.26
Total cash-on-hand: $120,761.43
Burn rate: 82.55%

Donald Chasteen (R)
Total raised: $12,650.00
Total spent: $11,229.25
Total cash-on-hand: $1,420.75


Kimberly Fobbs (D)
Total raised: $18,060.00
Total spent: $13,646.10
Total cash-on-hand: $1,707.90
Burn rate: 88.88%


Bob Anthony (R)
Total raised: $666,759.37 (includes $435,000.00 loan)
Total spent: $588,269.14
Total cash-on-hand: $78,490.23
Burn rate: 88.23%

Brian Bingman (R)
Total raised: $497,405.22 (includes $110,000.00 loan)
Total spent: $483,390.14
Total cash-on-hand: $14,015.08
Burn rate: 97.18%

Harold Spradling (R)
Total raised: $5,000 (all a personal loan)
Total spent: $0
Total cash-on-hand: $5,000


Ashley McCray (D)
Total raised: $12,128.46
Total spent: $2,088.29
Total cash-on-hand: $7,320.71
Burn rate: 22.19%

Blake Cummings (D)
Total raised: $14,673.73 (includes $10,610 loan)
Total spent: $14,191.68
Total cash-on-hand: $-1,888.51
Burn rate: 115.35%

Beau Williams (D)
Total raised: $71,633.74 (includes $21,500.00 loan)
Total spent: $67,656.00
Total cash-on-hand: $0

Insurance Commish Doak endorses Stitt for Governor


Tulsa, Oklahoma (August 23, 2018) – Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak today announced his endorsement of Kevin Stitt for Governor of Oklahoma.

“Kevin Stitt is a business leader not a politician,” said Commissioner Doak. “I urge my fellow republicans to support an outsider not a career politician, I have met with Kevin and believe that he has the passion and focus to make Oklahoma a better place for future generations. Kevin is committed to serving the entire state not just Tulsa and OKC. Having a Governor that will regularly travel the state to all 77 counties is very important for input and direction. Stitt will bring common-sense solutions to Oklahoma!”

Doak is a conservative Oklahoma leader who was first elected as Insurance Commissioner in 2010.

Pre-Runoff Finance Reports: Labor Commissioner race

Continuing through the pre-runoff campaign finance reports, we'll now look at the race for Labor Commissioner. The Republicans are in a runoff, while the Democrats have a nominee. As with the previous races, totals below are race-to-date.


Cathy Costello
Total raised: $623,735 (includes $525,050 loan)
Total spent: $475,761.30
Total cash-on-hand: $147,973.70
Burn rate: 76.28%

Leslie Osborn
Total raised: $619,406.77 ($143,882.08 transferred from State House account)
Total spent: $508,854.06
Total cash-on-hand: $110,552.71
Burn rate: 82.15%

Keith Swinton
Total raised: $2,950 ($2,700 personal loan)
Total spent: $2,950.00
Total cash-on-hand: $50.00


Fred Dorrell
Total raised: $7,530.00 ($1,000 in-kind)
Total spent: $6,440.50
Total cash-on-hand: $89.50
Burn rate: 98.63%

Sam Mis-soum
Total raised: $3,000
Total spent: $2,900
Total cash-on-hand: $100.00

Pre-Runoff Finance Reports: LtGov race

Continuing through the pre-runoff campaign finance reports, we'll now look at the race for Lieutenant Governor. The Republicans are in a runoff, while the Democrats have a nominee. As with the gubernatorial race, totals below are race-to-date.


Dana Murphy
Total raised: $1,210,090.25 (includes $638,821.71 transferred from previous campaign account)
Total spent: $875,741.80
Total cash-on-hand: $286,011.79
Burn rate: 75.38%

Matt Pinnell
Total raised: $1,041,707.55 (includes $40,000 loan)
Total spent: $871,947.32
Total cash-on-hand: $132,579.32
Burn rate: 86.80%

Eddie Fields
Total raised: $178,246.65 (includes $85,000 loan)
Total spent: $165,748.16
Total cash-on-hand: $12,498.49

Dominique Block
Total raised: $2,335.17
Total spent: $2,335.17
Total cash-on-hand: $0.00


Anastasia Pittman
Total raised: $2,195.00
Total spent: $90.80
Total cash-on-hand: $2,104.20
Burn rate: 4.14%

Anna Dearmore
Total raised: $29,497.63 (includes $24,450.00 loan)
Total spent: $29,497.63
Total cash-on-hand: $0

Early voting for runoff begins today

Early voting begins Thursday for Runoff Primary

(Oklahoma City) – Voters can begin casting ballots Thursday during early voting for the Aug. 28 Runoff Primary Election, Oklahoma State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said today.

In-person absentee voting, or “early voting,” will be available at all 77 county election boards across the state and at satellite locations in some counties. Early voting will be available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

All three of the state’s recognized parties have at least one statewide runoff. Registered Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians may vote in their respective party primaries. The Democratic Party has opted to allow registered Independents to vote in its primary, but the Republican and Libertarian Parties opted to close their primaries to Independents.

There are 35 state and federal runoffs on the Republican ballot and 12 runoffs on the Democratic ballot. Libertarians will have one race on the ballot, a gubernatorial runoff.

You can view a sample ballot or check the status of your absentee ballot by using the Online Voter Tool at

Pre-Runoff Finance Reports: Governor's race

The final campaign finance reports (pre-runoff) before the August 28th primary have been submitted and posted on the Oklahoma Ethics Commission website. We'll look at the gubernatorial race in this post. All figures below are campaign-to-date, and may include in-kind contributions or expenditures.

The money in the GOP primary/runoff is mindblowing... far and away the most expensive race in Oklahoma history before the GOP nominee has even been decided.

Total Raised: $15,226,168.48
Total Spent: $14,215,428.94
Total Cash-on-Hand: $727,082.99
Burn rate: 95.13%

Kevin Stitt
Total raised: $6,542,863.91 (includes $3,281,000 in loans)
Total spent: $6,018,662.13
Total cash-on-hand: $368,557.72
Burn rate: 94.23%

Mick Cornett
Total raised: $3,242,795.74
Total spent: $2,826,305.70
Total cash-on-hand: $336,691.50
Burn rate: 89.36%

Todd Lamb
Total raised: $3,715,470.61
Total spent: $3,669,760.27
Total cash-on-hand: $13,636.80

Gary Richardson
Total raised: $1,253,448.92 (includes $1,002,575.37 loan)
Total spent: $1,247,700.14
Total cash-on-hand: $0

Dan Fisher
Total raised: $341,220.81 (includes $20,000 loan)
Total spent: $325,561.73
Total cash-on-hand: $7,834.99

Gary Jones
Total raised: $113,080.48 (includes $16,000 loan)
Total spent: $111,331.07
Total cash-on-hand: $455.88

Total Raised: $2,101,942.86
Total Spent: $1,386,655.37
Total Cash-on-Hand: $703,890.82
Burn rate: 66.33%
Drew Edmondson
Total raised: $2,032,248.62 (includes $60,000 loan)
Total spent: $1,318,163.77
Total cash-on-hand: $703,004.68
Burn rate: 65.22%

Connie Johnson
Total raised: $69,694.24
Total spent: $68,491.60
Total cash-on-hand: $886.14

Total Raised: $32,535.90 (~$9,600 in-kind)
Total Spent: $20,612.02
Total Cash-on-Hand: $2,280.64
Burn rate: 90.04
Chris Powell
Total raised: $10,142.88 (including $1,200 loan)
Total spent: $6,991.02
Total cash-on-hand: $3,017.51
Burn rate: 69.85%

Rex Lawhorn
Total raised: $4,575.00
Total spent: $5,286.87
Total cash-on-hand: $-736.87
Burn rate: 116.19%

Joseph Maldonado
Total raised: $17,818.02 (~$9,500 in-kind)
Total spent: $8,334.13
Total cash-on-hand: $0

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Ted Cruz endorses Stitt for Governor


Tulsa, Oklahoma (August 22, 2018) – U.S. Senator and 2016 Oklahoma Republican presidential primary winner Ted Cruz today announced his endorsement of Kevin Stitt for Governor of Oklahoma.

“Our republic requires an active participation from all of us, and it's encouraging when solid conservatives step forward to run for office. I’m asking Oklahoma voters to carefully consider the choices before them this election cycle, and to stand with those who have proven themselves to be conservatives of conviction.  In the race for Governor in Oklahoma, I am proud to endorse Kevin Stitt, and I urge the voters in Oklahoma to join me by supporting him,” said Ted Cruz.

“It is an honor to earn the support of Ted Cruz, a conservative, principled leader in the Republican party,” Stitt said. “Oklahomans rallied around Sen. Cruz when he courageously led the fight in Washington to repeal and replace ObamaCare. I have admired Cruz’s stalwart stance for free-market principles, for individual liberty, and for the Constitution, and I will lead with these conservative values as governor of Oklahoma.”

On Super Tuesday in 2016, Oklahomans chose Ted Cruz as their Republican nominee for president.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Coburn endorses Stitt for Governor, responds to Cornett attacks


Tulsa, Oklahoma (August 21, 2018) – Former U.S. Senator Tom Coburn today announced his endorsement of Kevin Stitt for Governor of Oklahoma.

“The negative political ads by Mick Cornett and his base are distasteful and a misrepresentation of Kevin Stitt and his business,” said Sen. Tom Coburn. “As a U.S. Senator during the subprime mortgage crisis, I can attest first hand that if these fees and fines from many years ago were truly egregious, Kevin Stitt would not be in business today. Furthermore, the accusations that Kevin Stitt took bailout money is a gross misrepresentation of the TARP program. Kevin’s company is not a financial institution that could have accepted the bailout money meant to support failing banks. By law, the federal government required mortgage companies to participate in an underlying program to prevent foreclosures, and Gateway followed the letter of the law.”

Coburn continued, “While Kevin and I have not always seen eye-to-eye on policy decisions during this election season, I have appreciated his eagerness to listen and apply conservative principles in his decision-making process. Kevin is committed to delivering accountability and transparency to state government, and he is the fresh, new leadership our state Republican party needs. Kevin Stitt is driven by his faith and I applaud his willingness to leave the private sector for a season to serve our state. I urge Oklahomans to join me in electing the only conservative outsider in this race, Kevin Stitt.”

“I appreciate Senator Tom Coburn’s support for our campaign,” Stitt said. “Sen. Coburn and I agree that Oklahoma needs to be delivering core public services effectively and efficiently, and this starts by demanding accountability and transparency in state government. We have a bright future on our horizon with Oklahoma’s economy recovering and growth in state revenue. Now is the time to take the bull by the horns to diversify our job market, root out waste in government, and ensure stability in funding core services for the next generation.”

Monday, August 20, 2018

Music Monday: Psalm 23

This week's Music Monday is Psalm 23, arranged by American composer Paul Basler.


See below for all previous Music Monday posts. Do you have a song you'd like to suggest for a future Music Monday? Email me at

August 13th, 2018: Ashokan Farewell
August 6, 2018: How the West Was Won
July 23rd, 2018: I Just Can't Wait to Be King
July 16th, 2018: 'Jupiter' from 'The Planets'
July 9th, 2018: Hail to the Spirit of Liberty
July 2nd, 2018: Turn The Tide
June 25th, 2018: Good Guys Win
June 18th, 2018: Watching You
June 11th, 2018: Adoration
June 4th, 2018: March from 'A Moorside Suite'
May 28th, 2018: Taps
May 21st, 2018: Listz's La Campanella
May 14th, 2018: Handful of Weeds
May 7th, 2018: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
April 30th, 2018: Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53 ("Heroic")
April 23rd, 2018: Blow Ye The Trumpet
April 16th, 2018: Asturias (Leyenda)
April 9th, 2018: Old Mountain Dew
April 2nd, 2018: His Life For Mine
March 19th, 2018: See, the Conqu'ring Hero Comes!
March 12th, 2018: Choctaw Nation
March 5th, 2018: Hark, I Hear The Harps Eternal
February 19th, 2018: The Olympic Spirit
February 12th, 2018: Olympic Fanfare and Theme
January 29th, 2018: Hail to the Chief
January 23rd, 2018: Waltz in A-Flat Major, Op. 39 No. 15
January 15th, 2018: Bleed The Same
January 8th, 2018: Saint-Saëns' Symphony No.3 'Organ' (Maestoso)
December 25th, 2017: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
December 18th, 2017: I Saw Three Ships (The Piano Guys)
December 11th, 2017:Who Is He In Yonder Stall
December 4th, 2017: Carol of the Bells (Mannheim Steamroller)
November 27th, 2017: Joy to the World!
November 20th, 2017: We Gather Together
November 13th, 2017: Mansions of the Lord
November 6th, 2017: Träumerei
October 30th: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
October 23rd, 2017: In Christ Alone
October 16th, 2017: When I'm Knee Deep In Bluegrass
October 9th, 2017: I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb
October 2nd, 2017: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major (Brahms)
September 25th, 2017: Beethoven's Sonata No. 8 in C minor ('Pathétique')
September 11th, 2017: Have You Forgotten?
September 4th, 2017: Bach's Double Violin Concerto
August 28th, 2017: Noah Found Grace In The Eyes Of The Lord
August 21st, 2017: The Heavens Are Telling The Glory of God
August 14th, 2017: Beethoven's 5th Symphony
August 7th, 2017: 'Lift High The Name Of Jesus' medley
July 31st, 2017: Fanfare for the Common Man
July 24th, 2017: Variations on 'Happy Birthday'
July 10th, 2017: Summer (Presto) from Vivaldi's Four Seasons
July 3rd, 2017: Freelance Fireworks Hall of Fame
June 26th, 2017: Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
June 19th, 2017: A Christian Home
June 12th, 2017: Ol' Man River
June 5th, 2017: Choctaw Cowboy
May 29th, 2017: Armed Forces Salute
May 22nd, 2017: Double Bass Concerto No.2 in B minor
May 15th, 2017: Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 in D major
May 8th, 2017: The Army Goes Rolling Along
April 17th, 2017: He Is Alive
April 10th, 2017: Surely He Hath Borne/And With His Stripes/All We Like Sheep
April 3rd, 2017: Here Comes Carolina
March 27th, 2017: 'Spring' from Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons'
March 20th, 2017: Symphony No. 5 ("Reformation") Finale
March 13th, 2017: The Pigeon on the Gate
March 6th, 2017: Finlandia
February 27th, 2017: When I Can Read My Title Clear
February 20th, 2017: William Tell Overture - Finale
February 13th, 2017: 'Romance' from 'The Gadfly'
February 6th, 2017: White Winter Hymnal
January 30th, 2017: Hail, Columbia
January 23rd, 2017: Hail to the Chief
January 16th, 2017: Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy
January 2nd, 2017: Auld Lang Syne
December 26th, 2016: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
December 19th, 2016: I Wonder as I Wander
December 12th, 2016: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
December 5th, 2016: A Christmas Festival
November 28th, 2016: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
November 21st: Beethoven's 'Hymn of Thanksgiving'
November 14th: Hymn to the Fallen
November 7th: This World Is Not My Home
October 31st, 2016: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
October 24th, 2016: 'Mars', from 'The Planets'
October 17th, 2016: My Shepherd Will Supply My Need
October 10th, 2016: Spain
October 3rd, 2016: International Harvester
September 26th, 2016: 'The Imperial March' from Star Wars
September 19th, 2016: Awake the Trumpet's Lofty Sound
September 12th, 2016: Before the Throne of God Above
September 5th, 2016: The Hunt
August 29th, 2016: Liberty
August 22nd, 2016: Summon the Heroes
August 15th, 2016: Bugler's Dream
August 8th, 2016: Olympic Fanfare and Theme
August 1st, 2016: 'Prelude' and 'Parade of the Charioteers' from Ben-Hur
July 25th, 2016: How The West Was Won
July 18th, 2016: Six Studies in English Folk Song
July 11th, 2016: From Everlasting To Everlasting
July 4th, 2016: The Stars and Stripes Forever
June 27th, 2016: Rule, Britannia!
June 20st, 2016: Bugler's Holiday
June 13th, 2016: Ride of the Valkyries
June 6th, 2016: Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54, Allegro Vivace
May 30th, 2016: Armed Forces Salute
May 23rd, 2016: Paid in Full (Through Jesus, Amen)
May 16th, 2016: Overture from 'Carmen'
May 9th, 2016: L'Arlesienne Suite No. 1 - Prelude
May 2nd, 2016: My God Is a Rock
April 25th, 2016: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
April 18th, 2016: Paganini's Caprice No. 24 in A Minor
April 11th, 2016: Fantasia on a 17th Century Tune
April 4th, 2016: Hark The Sound/I'm a Tarheel Born
March 28th, 2016: Rustle of Spring
March 21st, 2016: 'Ode to Joy' sung by a 10,000-voice choir
March 14th, 2016: Hard Times Come Again No More
March 7th, 2016: 'The Suite' from Downton Abbey
February 29th, 2016: Moonlight Sonata
February 22nd, 2016: Liebestraum No. 3
February 15th, 2016: Help Is On The Way
February 8th, 2016: God of Grace and God of Glory
February 1st, 2016: 'My Story'
January 25th, 2016: Israeli Concertino
January 18th, 2016: What Grace is Mine
January 11th, 2016: "Meditation" from Thaïs
January 4th, 2016: Praeludium and Allegro
December 28th, 2015: Appalachian Carol
December 21st, 2015: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
December 14th, 2015: O Holy Night
December 7th, 2015: Christmas Fantasy
November 23rd, 2015: Simple Gifts
November 16th, 2015: Preacher Tell Me Like It Is
November 9th, 2015: Armed Forces Salute
November 2nd, 2015: Amazing Grace
October 26th, 2015: The Harmonious Blacksmith
October 19th, 2015: Liberty Fanfare
October 12th, 2015: The Majesty and Glory of Your Name
October 5th, 2015: Elgar's 'Enigma' Finale
September 28th, 2015: Stayed on Jesus
September 21st, 2015: Great Gate of Kiev
September 14th, 2015: Nearer, My God, To Thee

Yes on 793 launches coalition of support


Supporters Of State Question 793 On November Ballot Joining Together To Modernize Oklahoma Optical Laws

OKLAHOMA CITY (AUG. 14) — Yes on 793 today officially launched a coalition of consumer advocates, eldercare groups and retailers dedicated to improving access to affordable and convenient optical care for patients in Oklahoma by supporting State Question 793, a November ballot initiative that would allow retail stores to offer vision care services such as eye exams and eyewear.

“Our diverse coalition reflects how communities across Oklahoma are ready to finally bring the state’s outdated optometry laws into the 21st century and catch up with the 47 other states where patients have the freedom to obtain vision care in retail stores,” said Tim Tippit, Chairman of Yes on 793. “We are honored to be working with these advocates to champion the need for improving access to high-quality vision care services for patients throughout the state. Together, we can help lead Oklahomans to a future with the same choice, convenience and affordability that millions of Americans currently enjoy.

Yes on 793 coalition members include Oklahomans for Consumer Freedom, Oklahoma Silver Haired Legislature, Oklahoma Retail Merchants Association, Energeyes, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Prosperity – Oklahoma, Americans for Tax Reform, Costco, Walmart, DaVinci Equity Group and National Vision.

SQ 793 would expand consumer choice for vision care by allowing patients to receive eye exams and purchase eyewear at affordable prices in convenient retail locations, such as Walmart and Costco. Oklahoma is one of only three states that does not currently allow patients to receive optical care in retail locations.

“Oklahoma’s outdated optical laws have long prevented consumers in the state from seeing better selection and variety of prices when shopping for eyewear,” said Gwendolyn Caldwell of Oklahomans for Consumer Freedom. “We are thrilled to be joining Yes on 793 to help bring these common-sense reforms and more choices and freedom to Oklahomans in November.”

“Supporting Yes on 793 means bringing access to quality vision care at affordable prices for older Oklahomans and all patients across the state in need of convenient, lower-cost options,” said John Kusel, member of Oklahoma Silver Haired Legislature. “For seniors living on fixed incomes, this will dramatically expand these choices, and we hope Oklahoma voters will join us in supporting 793 in November.”

In July, Gov. Mary Fallin signed an order authorizing SQ 793 to appear on the November ballot after the Yes on 793 campaign turned in nearly 250,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office — more than double the required number of signatures to appear on the ballot. The Secretary of State’s office certified more than 249,000 of the signatures collected by Yes on 793.

“Now that SQ 793 is officially on the ballot, we’re excited to move into the campaign phase and be able to demonstrate to Oklahomans how our state's protective optometry laws line the pockets of special interests and hurt Oklahoma families,” said Tippit. “We fully expect to run a robust campaign because Oklahomans deserve the benefits healthy competition can bring -- greater convenience, affordability and more access to high-quality vision care services and products.”

OCPA column: School choice is helping these kids

School choice is helping these kids
by Jonathan Small, president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs

You may recall that state legislation authored in 2011 by GOP lawmakers Dan Newberry and Lee Denney created an “equal-opportunity scholarship” program. Nonprofit scholarship-granting organizations give private-school tuition assistance to kids who need it; the donors to those organizations get a tax credit.

The bill had numerous co-authors—Jabar Shumate and Judy Eason McIntyre on the left, for example, and Steve Russell and David Brumbaugh on the right. Helping the most vulnerable is not a partisan issue.

The program is already a success on the fiscal merits alone. As The Journal Record reported on October 6, 2017, “The state budget saves $1.24 for every dollar of tax credit issued to the Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship Act, according to an Oklahoma City University study released Friday.”

But the fiscal results pale in comparison to the human lives that are being changed. The latest example is Cristo Rey, a new private school serving low-income, inner-city kids who otherwise likely would not be college-bound. The tax-credit scholarship program is a key reason Cristo Rey decided to open a school in Oklahoma City.

Other examples abound. Have you heard about Crossover Preparatory Academy in north Tulsa? Lamenting that only 22 black senior boys were college-ready in Tulsa Public Schools in 2015, some compassionate Tulsans decided to open a private school. Thanks to tax-credit scholarships, lives will be changed.

Or how about the epileptic little girl with a rare genetic disorder? The tax-credit scholarship has been “a godsend,” her mom says. “The impact on our family is huge.”

How about the recovering addict who maxed out her time at the rescue mission? She and her elementary-age son were sitting on the curb when the folks from Positive Tomorrows came and got them. Tax-credit scholarship funds allow him to attend the school. It was “literally a lifesaver for me and my son,” she says.

How about the recovering addicts attending Mission Academy, a “sober high school” in Oklahoma City? “It’s amazing to be able to live again,” says one female student. “My son has received a second chance at life,” says a mom.

How about the mom whose autistic, mostly non-verbal Down syndrome child wasn’t making much progress in his local public school but thanks to a tax-credit scholarship is now thriving? “The most meaningful breakthrough this year is when he finally called me ‘Mama,” she says. “I waited eight years to hear my firstborn say my name.”

Incredibly, the teacher’s union and many in the education community cast aspersions on this program and don’t want to expand it. Fortunately, they’re on the wrong side of history.

There are many, many kids yet to be helped.

Jonathan Small serves as president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.

Cornett sets record for runoff fundraising

Cornett Sets Record For Runoff Fundraising
With nearly $1.3 million raised, Cornett seizes momentum

OKLAHOMA CITY– Mick Cornett’s campaign for Governor announced Monday they have raised $1,295,797.97 during the Republican gubernatorial runoff election, a record for contributions received during any Oklahoma runoff election. The announced total excludes in-kind contributions.

“For the last 14 months, I have been overwhelmed by the support our campaign has received from across the state,” Cornett said. “Fundraising is a key component for running a strong campaign, and we are in great position to win. We are proud of our supporters at every level, whether they are volunteers, interns, contributors or simply showing their neighbors they support us with a yard sign.”

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Harris and Hern to debate Friday night

Tulsa 9.12 Project and Tulsa Area Republican Assembly (TARA) to Host Republican Debate
1st Congressional District Republican Candidate Debate between Tim Harris and Kevin Hern

Tulsa – August 15, 2018 – Tulsa 9.12 Project and TARA announced today that they are hosting
a debate between Tim Harris and Kevin Hern, Republican candidates for the 1 st Congressional
District, on Friday, August 17th at 6:30 at Fellowship Bible Church, 5434 E 91st St. in Tulsa.

Pat Campbell with Talk Radio 1170 KFAQ will moderate the debate. Candidates will respond to
audience questions in addition to questions from the moderator, and questions each candidate ask
of one another.

The Republican primary runoff election is Tuesday, August 28th. On that date, Republican
voters will choose whether Harris or Hern will be on the November ballot. It is crucial that voters
understand where each candidate stands on critical issues that concern Oklahomans.
This debate provides voters one last opportunity to see the candidates side-by-side, addressing
the issues that are important to our state and our communities.

Limited seating - Registration suggested. RSVP at this link.

Mike Hunter releases new ads on opiod crisis

Family of Austin Box Shares Story in Latest Mike Hunter Ad

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Mike Hunter for Attorney General campaign released a new ad today featuring Craig and Whitney Box, the father and sister of the late Austin Box.

Austin Box died suddenly from an opioid overdose on May 19, 2011. At the time, he was a star football player at the University of Oklahoma. Austin suffered from injuries his entire career and always tried to avoid taking prescription opioids. Unfortunately, during the 2010 football season, Austin suffered a ruptured disc. This is the injury his family believes pushed him into prescription drug addiction.

“I’m extremely angry at them [drug manufacturers],” said Craig Box. “When you learn the facts about how the drug companies have systematically flooded this country with prescription drugs and the easy access to them makes me feel extremely angry. Because I know the pain we’ve suffered and purposefully knowing that this is a likely outcome of their actions is corporate greed beyond comprehension.”

Attorney General Mike Hunter has become a national leader in fighting the opioid epidemic. On June 30, 2017, Attorney General Mike Hunter filed suit against the largest opioid manufacturers in the country, citing that these companies knowingly marketed the drugs as safe and downplayed the addictive qualities of the drugs. Oklahoma became the first state in the country to receive a trial date in May 2019.

“Mike Hunter has been relentless in going after the opioid manufacturers,” said Craig Box. “It is not political, it is sincere.”

While Attorney General Mike Hunter has been fighting to save Oklahoma lives, Gentner Drummond has actively attacked the lawsuit and the lead attorneys. Behind closed doors, Drummond has said he would dismantle the lawsuit and he blames the addict, saying, “if they can’t get their stuff together, they need to go to jail.”.

Drummond has also attacked the lead attorneys on the case, Judge Michael Burrage and Reggie Whitten. Both Burrage and Whitten lost family members to the opioid epidemic. When the manufacturers tried to move the case from state to federal court, Drummond defended the companies and said the state’s attorneys made a “rookie mistake.” (

“Knowing Mike Burrage and Reggie Whitten and those people that have also suffered from this epidemic and what they are also doing, to have them attacked is just morally reprehensible,” said Whitney Box.

“If Gentner Drummond gets into office, I believe this opioid lawsuit will be derailed, it will cost Oklahomans their lives,” said Craig Box. “I think we are facing the greatest health crisis of my lifetime in the state of Oklahoma. And Mike Hunter is trying to do something about it.”

“I greatly appreciate the Box family for telling their story,” said Attorney General Mike Hunter. “I will continue to fight every day to make sure that Oklahoma families do not experience the same tragedy as Austin’s family.”

For more information, visit

Long version of the ad:

1st 30-second spot:

2nd 30-second spot: