The top two Republican candidates for state superintendent, Ryan Walters and April Grace, face an Aug. 23 runoff after none of the four candidates received at least 50% of the vote.

Walters, the appointed Secretary of Education and executive director of a non-profit, received 41% of the votes in Tuesday’s election. Grace, superintendent of Shawnee Public Schools, received 31%, according to the state Election Board. (The results are unofficial until certified.)

Also on the ballot were Peggs Superintendent John Cox, who received 24%, and William Crozier, who received just under 4%.

The runoff winner will face teacher Jena Nelson, a Democrat, in the Nov. 8 general election.

Also on Tuesday, current state Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister won the Democratic primary for governor. She’ll face Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, Libertarian Natalie Bruno and former state Sen. Ervin Yen, who’s running as an independent.

And voters largely rejected efforts to unseat several state lawmakers who voted against or said they opposed private school voucher legislation.

State Reps. Rhonda Baker, R-Yukon, Mark McBride, R-Moore, and Anthony Moore, R-Clinton, and Sen. Brenda Stanley, R-Midwest City, won their races.

Well-funded conservative groups that support private school vouchers, some outside Oklahoma, flooded those races with ad buys worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Another target of those groups, Logan Phillips, R-Mounds, was defeated by Air Force veteran Chris Banning.

Part of our mission at Oklahoma Watch is to help inform voters with accurate and unbiased information. As we shape our ongoing election coverage leading up to November, I want to know what kind of information would help you make informed decisions? What stories do you want me to dig into? Always available via email or DM.

— Jennifer Palmer

Recommended Reading

  • Ethics complaint filed against Epic Charter Schools co-founders by former state auditor Gary Jones over campaign contributions. [Tulsa World]
  • Following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Gov. Kevin Stitt issued an executive order aiming to make schools safer and better prepare law enforcement to respond to a shooter. The order does not require arming educators. [The Oklahoman]
  • The Supreme Court sided with a high school football coach who prayed on the field after games, ruling that his actions were protected by the First Amendment. [The New York Times]

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