Political spending by secretive groups that are allowed to hide their donors have already spent what is likely a record amount this year to influence Oklahoma political races. The spending is expected to surge in the weeks leading up to the November election.
With the primary runoffs over, the general election ballot for Nov. 6 is set. Here’s a look at the candidates in Oklahoma’s federal, statewide, legislative and judicial elections – plus those who have already secured their seat.
It was another tough day to be an Oklahoma legislator running for reelection. Six of the 10 GOP incumbents who faced runoff challenges Tuesday were defeated and will not return when the Legislature convenes again early next year.
If there is one thing clear about today’s runoff election, it’s that voters and observers are in for a record level of suspense. The election will feature the largest number of runoffs in at least two decades, and possibly the most in state history.
An outside group funded by Sue Ann Arnall, an Oklahoma City philanthropist, spent more than $65,000 to defeat an Oklahoma County district court judge who presided over her 2014 divorce case with billionaire oilman Harold Hamm.
Only four of 28 candidates for statewide elected office in Oklahoma have voluntarily released details about their personal finances similar to what is typically disclosed by federal candidates and candidates in other states. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Drew Edmondson released his tax returns and detailed finances. Republicans Mick Cornett and Kevin Stitt declined to release theirs, as did most of the non-gubernatorial candidates.
Some candidates made it clear why they refused to provide details about their personal finances as requested by Oklahoma Watch. Others explained why thought it best to release them. Read their statements.