Runoffs elsewhere


From the cutting-room floor: In putting together last week's Urban Tulsa Weekly column, I decided to concentrate on the two County Commission runoffs, races that only got a brief mention in my pre-primary columns. For the sake of space, I cut my original intro, which included a look at interesting runoffs elsewhere in Oklahoma. Here it is.

Both parties have a statewide runoff for lieutenant governor: State Rep. Jari Askins vs. Pete Regan for the Democratic nomination, Speaker of the House Todd Hiett vs. State Sen. Scott Pruitt on the Republican ballot.

Based on Gaddie’s 40+5 rule, Pruitt and Regan have steep hills to climb. According to Keith Gaddie, a poli-sci prof at OU and the proprietor of, when the leading candidate pulls at least 40% in the runoff and leads the second place candidate by at least 5%, he wins the runoff 95% of the time.

Still, Pruitt has garnered the endorsements of 18 of his 21 Republican Senate colleagues, who have pledged to campaign on his behalf in their home districts. And Regan has Barry Switzer on his side. Switzer’s support was enough to get a bland unknown elected Governor four years ago, so who knows?

And Brad Henry’s 2002 runoff win was one of those one-in-twenty exceptions: He lost the primary to Vince Orza by a 44% to 28% margin.

At the other end of the turnpike, one runoff involves two close relatives of elected officials: Former Governor Frank Keating’s son Chip finished the House District 85 Republican primary just behind David Dank in the race to succeed Dank’s wife Odilia, who is leaving office because of term limits.

In the House 90 race, former State Rep. Charles Key, who lost his seat because of his intense focus on the Oklahoma City bombing grand jury, is trying to get it back, now that his replacement is stepping aside.

Here in Tulsa County, there are runoffs for two open State House seats: Democrats Wayne Guevara and Carl Weston have a runoff in House District 74 (Owasso and Catoosa), and Republicans Chris Medlock and Fred Jordan will face off for House District 69 (south Tulsa and Jenks). It’s an interesting coincidence that the incumbents for those two seats, John Smaligo and Fred Perry, will both be on the ballot the same day, in runoffs for the GOP nominations for Tulsa County Commission Districts 1 and 3, respectively.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on August 20, 2006 11:27 PM.

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