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).


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