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2010 Oklahoma Election Preview

Written by Dick Pryor on Friday June 18, 2010

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Almost 600 candidates have filed for election this year in Oklahoma, and this week on Oklahoma Forum we discuss what to expect during the campaign and when the votes are finally counted.  Our guests are Randy Krehbiel of The Tulsa World, Erin Boeckman of eCapitol and iVOTE, OU Political Science Professor Keith Gaddie and Sheryl Lovelady of the Women's Leadership Institute at the University of Oklahoma.

It's expected to be a big year for Republicans in Oklahoma, as GOP continues to build in the reddest of the red states from 2008.  Five of the nine statewide offices will see turnover, as Oklahoma voters will elect a new Governor, Lt. Governor, State Superintendent, Treasurer and Attorney General.  Incumbents in the race for Insurance Commissioner, Labor Commissioner, Auditor and Inspector and one Corporation Commission seat (Dana Murphy) are facing challengers.

We discussed the various statewide races, the election climate in Oklahoma, political strategy, and the federal races for U.S. House and Senate.  The State Election Board ruled on several challenges on Friday.  Our guest, Erin Boeckman, has the complete rundown on iVOTE, one of our election partners.  Here is her original filing story from the final day of filing, June 9, 2010.

(POL) After the close of filing with the Oklahoma State Election Board Wednesday, 586 candidates had filed to compete for 319 available seats. On Wednesday, the last day of the three-day filing period, 120 candidates had filed, said Oklahoma State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax. Seventy-five candidates filed on Tuesday, and 391 filed on Monday. The total count of 586 candidates is just shy of the 600 Ziriax projected before filing began.

In the last comparable year, 2006, 594 candidates filed for office. In 2002, 574 candidates filed, Ziriax said.

The positions up for election in 2010 include six federal posts, nine statewide, 152 district and associate district judgeships, 27 district attorney seats and 125 state legislative seats.

While there are officially 586 candidates, the State Election Board actually accepted 587 declarations of candidacy. On Monday, Hoppy Heidelberg filed for Senate District 15, but that seat is not on the 2010 ballot. It is currently held by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, R-Norman, who himself filed for district judge in District 21, office 1, on Monday, according to Election Board records. Ziriax said Heidelberg's declaration of candidacy was declared invalid.

Candidates wishing to withdraw from the primary election must do so by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 11. The deadline for withdrawing from a runoff primary is 5 p.m. July 30, and the deadline for withdrawing from the general election is 5 p.m. Aug. 27. Candidates' filing fees will not be reimbursed after withdrawing, Ziriax said.

June 11 is also the deadline for filing a contest of candidacy, Ziriax said. Such challenges can be filed by another candidate for the same office or any registered voter in a race involving only one candidate. A $250 filing fee accompanies each contest of candidacy, he said.

Contest hearings are scheduled to occur in Rooms 419A, 419B and 419C of the state Capitol on June 18. Ziriax said the relocation from Room 534A should allow the hearings to be broadcast online, and the additional room can be used for audience overflow.

[Editor's Note: For information about the 2010 election and the candidates who filed for office, visit www.ivote2010.net.]

Be watching for more information coming as OETA launches our Oklahoma Votes 2010 coverage on-line and on-air.

Until next time,

Dick Pryor

(Pictured above, left to right:  Host Dick Pryor, Sheryl Lovelady, Keith Gaddie, Erin Boeckman.  Not pictured:  Randy Krehbiel.)


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