Bell blowout (and other good news)

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Most elections I'm used to a mixed bag of results -- some encouraging, some discouraging. Once in a great while -- 1980, 1994 come to mind -- everything goes the way I hope.

This comes close to being one of those nights.

82% of Republican voters said yes to Sally Bell and "enough already" to County Commissioner Randi Miller. While I expected a win, my guess was 57%. There's a certain constituency who will vote for the incumbent no matter what. Bell's win is certainly due to disgust with Miller, but the size of the win demonstrates that voters see Bell as a credible prospect for County Commission. That ought to help her raise money and volunteers for the November general election, which will be tough, but it's looking more and more feasible.

We're nearly at 100% of the vote, and it looks like Dana Murphy has won a close Republican primary against State Rep. Rob Johnson for the right to challenge appointed Corporation Commissioner Jim Roth, a Democrat. Dana is a wonderful person, she is extremely qualified for this job, and she has the integrity to do the right thing regardless of the pressure from special interests. A cynic would say that combination is political poison, but it's nice to see a good guy finish first for once. Again, it'll be tough to beat an incumbent, but Murphy is more qualified than Roth for the job (she worked for the OCC for five years, he's been there less than one), and she has been in three statewide elections. Roth has never run statewide.

In District 35, we're headed for a runoff, as expected, between Cason Carter and Gary Stanislawski. There's only a 268 vote gap between the two -- Carter 44%, Stanislawski 40%. It's likely that Jeff Applekamp and Janet Sullivan took more support from Stanislawski than from Carter -- Applekamp comes from the southern end of the district, and Sullivan, like Stanislawski, attends Victory Christian Center.

No surprises in the Republican primaries for U. S. Senate and the First Congressional District: Jim Inhofe and John Sullivan prevailed easily over perennial candidates.

I was surprised that the anointed Democratic challengers to Inhofe and Sullivan won by relatively slim margins over very underfunded opponents. Georgianna Oliver beat Mark Manley by only 55% to 45%, and Democratic turnout in the 1st District was half of the Republican turnout, which reveals a lack of enthusiasm for the recently relocated Mrs. Oliver. State Sen. Andrew Rice managed less than 60% against a perennial candidate.

I was pleased, but not at all surprised, to see Dan Newberry win his Senate District 37 primary by such a large margin. He's been walking the district for a year or more. He's got a good headstart on reclaiming the district for the Republican Party.

John Trebilcock won over his primary challenger by a two-to-one margin. I'm told the over-the-top attacks by his opponent turned off a lot of voters.

Elsewhere in Oklahoma, the Chambers of Commerce and the old Cargill machine attempted to defeat State Reps. Randy Terrill and Mike Reynolds. Terrill won renomination with 75% of the vote. Reynolds's race was closer -- 55-45. Disgraced former Speaker Lance Cargill was a consultant to his opponent's campaign.

In Oklahoma County, District 2 County Commissioner Brent Rinehart got a bigger percentage of the vote than Randi Miller -- all of 21%, and that in the face of financial scandal and national notoriety for his amateurish cartoon campaign piece. But he still lost big, and Brian Maughan came close to winning outright with 47% of the vote. Maughan will face J. D. Johnston in a runoff. I know Brian through state Republican Party events, and I'm happy to see him well on his way to a seat on the County Commission.

My take on the two Northside Democratic House primaries: All of the candidates are pretty far to my left on state issues, none of them are pro-life, and none of them will have a Republican opponent in the fall, so in a sense, it doesn't matter who wins. But Christie Breedlove, running in HD 72, has been a tireless worker for Roscoe Turner, one of the good guys on the City Council, and we're often on the same side of local issues, so I'm happy to see her move forward to a runoff.

I was also happy to see Jabar Shumate prevail in a tough primary against Kevin Matthews in HD 73. Nothing against Matthews, but I appreciated Shumate and Sen. Judy Eason-McIntyre taking the political risk to support the New Hope Scholarship program, which would have given partial tax credits for donations to scholarship funds to pay for at-risk students to attend private schools. It was a modest school choice bill, but one opposed by a core Democrat constituency -- the teacher's union and other elements of the education establishment -- so Shumate and Eason-McIntyre deserve praise for putting their constituents' best interests above political expedience.

It's just really nice to know that I don't have to take down any yard signs tomorrow, because all my candidates made it to the next round.

MORE:

I thought I heard a big flushing sound yesterday.

Irritated Tulsan has a career possibility for the soon to be former commissioner.

740 KRMG's Joe Kelley has video of the real reason Randi lost in a landslide.

Michelle is OK with low voter turnout, and she has some advice for John Trebilcock's opponent:

John Newhouse found out tonight that you should run on something besides a mistake your opponent made over a year ago, and has asked forgiveness for. Trebilcock won with about 65%.

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9 Comments

Brock Landers said:

What is this mythical "Cargill machine" you refer to? Is it the combination of fundraising and candidate recruitment that led to the takeover of the State House and the passage of pro-life legislation and tax cuts? Most of us consider that a good thing.

You do realize that Reynolds is a terrible legislator and no one at the House likes him, right? It's easy to be against everything, it's hard to lead. Reynolds takes the easy way out, and those on the sidelines have the luxury of applauding him.

Are you bothered by Reynolds finance violations? For someone so obsessed with Ethics rules, there is a humorous irony in his having to refund inappropriately accepted contributions.

bm said:

Congratulations to Mrs. Bell. I voted for her yesterday.
I am also very happy to see Randi Miller gone. She has done way too much damage to Tulsa county.

ThatGuy Author Profile Page said:

I was wondering if there was a source for side by side issue comparison between Carter and Stanislawski?

The only thing I hear about Stanislawski is that he's a "good guy" but I know nothing of his specific stances on issues or what he wants to accomplish in the community. Without a track record of civil service, I have no reference point on how to evaluate him.

With Carter I have a mixed bag of feelings. I've been very pleased with him on numerous things he did in my district while in city council, but his support of the river leaves me open to wanting to know my options better. ( Again as I stated in an earlier posting, despite his support of the river, he still actually helped me track down information with the city knowing that my sole purpose was to justify why I did not want the river tax to pass, so I do have to give him credit for that. )

Any additional information on deciding between these two candidates would be GREATLY appreciated.

sbtulsa Author Profile Page said:

I wonder how much Miller suffered from subliminal or outright comparison with Kathy Taylor.

Miller appears to have rammed through Bell's demise. She was for some big ticket projects. To me, her answers on PC's show were noticably arrogant. Taylor has rammed several items through or around the city council, spent a lot of money on pet projects and seems to be unwilling to negotiate much of anything.

Could this be the beginning of the end of Taylor's political career?

Doug Haas said:

I received a phone call tonight for a one question political poll. It asked me if I had to vote today in the November County Commissioner election would I vote for Bell or Keith. It appears the big money is getting involved early.

Pamela said:

Sally Bell did not win as much as Randi Miller lost it herself. Anyone that said that they would not support new taxes and proposed open government would have beat Randi Miller hands down. During the radio debate Randi came across as incredibly arrogant, especially when she said that people that were against her had an agenda. I thought 'Yes we do have an agenda. We don't like your ethics and wish you would go away.'. I'm so glad she is gone.

sbtulsa Author Profile Page said:

Miller's ethics were a problem but so was her bumbling. The failed mayoral attempt, the pose in the river, etc. She likely would have lost even if Bell's got a new lease. And the flyer issue (divorced or not divorced, that is the question). She could have disposed of that by sinply leaving marital status off the flyer all together.

I don't have any agenda that is candidate specific. I just don't like her record.

Paul Tay said:

I NEED a beer. It's MILLER Time, DAMMIT! It really really BITES to be me right now.

walnut said:

Paul, ok .. I'll bite, what are you talking about?

The city might be in the mood for a change apparently, better get your application ready again.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 29, 2008 9:36 PM.

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