BIG BALLOT

Tulsa County voters will have a busy ballot November 8 with up to five federal, state, county races, three city races and seven judicial retention votes plus seven state questions.

Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Independents will be on the ballot. On top of the list is the race for president.

U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, is seeking another term and has four opponents – one Democrat (Mike Workman), one Libertarian (Robert T. Murphy) and two Independents (Sean Braddy and Mark T. Beard).

U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Oklahoma, won his primary with 81 percent of the vote. No Democrat filed and the Independent candidate withdrew, so Bridenstine was re-elected. U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Oklahoma, faces Democrat Joshua Harris-Till and Independent John McCarthy.

Unlike 2014, when there were no general election races in Tulsa County, there are five Oklahoma Senate seats up for grabs.

Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow/Tulsa; Sen. Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa; and Sen. Dan Newberry, R-Tulsa, all will try to win re-election November 8.

In Senate District 25, an open seat, Republican Joe Newhouse faces Democrat Robert Founds. Newhouse is a conservative Navy veteran who was a field representative for Bridenstine. Founds is a progressive who advocates legalizing recreational marijuana.

In Senate District 39, another seat open due to term limits, Republican Dave Rader faces Democrat John Waldron. Rader is a conservative who was a star quarterback and later head coach of the Tulsa University football team. Waldron is a school teacher.

There are 11 important Oklahoma House races within Tulsa County. Representatives serve two year terms and are limited to 12 years in office.

Three Republican incumbents – Rep. Mike Ritze, Rep. David Brumbaugh and Rep. Michael Rogers – have races on November 8.

In Tulsa, House Districts 67, 70 and 78 are open seats. In House District 67, Republican Scott McEachin faces Democrat Lori Decker Wright and Libertarian Zac Davis.

In District 70, Republican Carol Bush upset Rep. Ken Walker in the GOP primary and will face Democrat Joe Jennings.

In District 78, it’s a three-way race among Republican Molly McKay, Democrat Meloyde Blancett and Libertarian Eugene Bell.

Republican Rep. Terry O’Donnell is running against Democrat Keith Welch, Sr., in House District 23. Republican Rep. Jadine Nollan faces Democrat Dianna Phillips in District 66.

Conservative GOP Rep. Chuck Strohm will be on the ballot versus Democrat Paul Sullivan in District 69.

Rep. Katie Henke, a registered Republican, faces Democrat challenger Millie Hardesty in District 71 in Tulsa. Rep. Weldon Watson, also a registered Republican, runs against Independent Teresa Marlar.

The only Tulsa County race is for county commissioner in District 2. Commissioner Karen Keith, a Democrat, faces Republican challenger Josh Turley.

Oklahomans will also vote to retain or not retain state judges, including Supreme Court Justices James Winchester and Douglas Combs; Court of Criminal Appeals Justices Rob Hudson and Carlene Clancy Smith and Court of Civil Appeals Justices John Fischer, Larry Joplin and Thomas Thornbrugh. Justice Steven Taylor was scheduled to be on the retention ballot but he announced his early retirement for December 31.

The liberal Oklahoma Supreme Court has come under fire from conservatives because of its decisions to remove the Ten Commandments Monument from the State Capitol, its approval of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling approving homosexual marriage and a host of decisions to overturn pro-life laws.

No judge in Oklahoma has not been retained in a retention vote.

Americans have been given a lot of information about the presidential candidates.

Republican Donald Trump is a businessman, a television personality, an author and a self-made billionaire. His principal business is real estate but he has a variety of business interests.

Democrat Hillary Clinton is the wife of former President Bill Clinton.

The former first lady was a U.S. senator from New York and was Secretary of State during the first term of President Barack Obama.

The Green Party candidate, Jill Stein, will not be on the ballot in Oklahoma. That is also true in Nevada and South Dakota. Her name can be written in on the ballot in Indiana, North Carolina and Georgia. The Green Party nominee will be on the ballot in the other 44 states.

Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is the former governor of New Mexico (1995-2003). He will be on the ballot in Oklahoma and a total of 49 states, with the exception being Rhode Island.

Oklahoma State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said the Libertarian Party was certified as a recognized party after election officials reviewed and approved petitions submitted this spring.

The Libertarians gathered 42,182 signatures. Of those, 30,517 were deemed valid. The minimum number needed to certify a new party was 24,745.

The Libertarian Party has also notified the Secretary of the State Election Board that it will allow Independents to vote in its primary and runoff primary elections.

There are three Tulsa City Council races on the ballot. Councilor Jack Henderson faces Vanessa Hall-Harper in District 1 and Councilor Jeannie Cue is running against Aaron Bisonno in District 2.

District 9 is an open seat because G.T. Bynum ran for mayor. The two candidates in District 9 are Ben Kimbro and Eric McCray.

State Questions

State Question 776

This measure adds a new section to the Oklahoma Constitution that deals with the death penalty with these constitutional requirements:

  • The Legislature is expressly empowered to designate any method of execution not prohibited by the United States Constitution.
  • Death sentences shall not be reduced because a method of execution is ruled to be invalid.
  • When an execution method is declared invalid, the death penalty imposed shall remain in force until it can be carried out using any valid execution method.
  • The imposition of a death penalty under Oklahoma law – as distinguished from a method of execution – shall not be deemed to be or constitute the infliction of cruel or unusual punishment under Oklahoma’s Constitution, nor to contravene any provision of the Oklahoma Constitution.

State Question 777

This amends the Oklahoma Constitution and guarantees the following rights:

  • The right to make use of agricultural technology
  • The right to make use of livestock procedures, and
  • The right to make use of ranching practices.

These constitutional rights receive extra protection that places a limit on lawmakers’ ability to interfere with the exercise of these rights. Under this extra protection, no law can interfere with these rights, unless the law is justified by a compelling state interest. The measure and the protections identified above do not apply to and do not impact state laws related to: trespass, eminent domain, dominance of mineral interests, easements and any state statutes and political subdivision ordinances enacted before December 31, 2014.

State Question 779

This measure adds a new Article to the Oklahoma Constitution and raises a one-cent state sales tax – a 22 percent increase. It creates a limited purpose fund to increase funding for public education. The revenue to be used for public education shall be allocated: 69.50 percent for common school districts, 19.25 percent for colleges and universities; 3.25 percent vocational/technical education and 8 percent for the State Department of Education. It requires teacher salary increases funded by this measure raise teacher salaries by at least $5,000 over the salaries paid in the year prior to adoption of this measure. It requires an annual audit of school districts’ use of monies. It prohibits school districts’ use of these funds for increasing superintendents’ salaries or adding superintendent positions. It requires that monies from the fund not supplant or replace other educational funding. If the Oklahoma Board of Equalization determines funding has been replaced, the Legislature may not make any appropriations until the amount of replaced funding is returned to the fund.

State Question 780

This measure amends existing Oklahoma laws and would change the classification of certain drug possession and property crimes from felony to misdemeanor. It would make possession of a limited quantity of drugs a misdemeanor. The amendment also changes the classification of drug possession crimes which are considered felonies and cases where the defendant has a prior drug possession conviction. The amendment would increase the threshold dollar amount used for determining whether certain property crimes are considered a felony or misdemeanor from $500 to $1,000. Property crimes covered by this change include; false declaration of a pawn ticket, embezzlement, larceny, grand larceny, theft, receiving or concealing stolen property, taking domesticated fish or game, fraud, forgery, counterfeiting or issuing bogus checks.

State Question 781

This measure creates the County Community Safety Investment Fund, only if voters approve State Question 780, the Oklahoma Smart Justice Reform Act.

State Question 790

This measure would remove Article 2, Section 5 of the Oklahoma Constitution, which prohibits the government from using public money or property for the direct or indirect benefit of any religion or religious institution. This would allow the Ten Commandments Monument to be returned to State Capitol grounds.

State Question 792

This repeals Article 28 of the Oklahoma Constitution and liberalizes the laws governing alcoholic beverages. The new Article 28A will:

  • Limit a company to having an ownership interest in one area (manufacturing, wholesaling or retailing) of the alcoholic beverage business.
  • Let the Legislature pass a law to allow direct shipments of wine to consumers.
  • Allow retail locations (like QuikTrip and Reasors) to sell wine and hard beer.
  • Let the Legislature create new licensing for retailers, liquor stores and other businesses.
  • Allow cities to levy an occupation tax.
  • Let state lodges sell individual alcohol beverages on their premises.

NOVEMBER 8 BALLOT

President/Vice President

DemocratHillary ClintonTim Kaine
RepublicanDonald TrumpMike Pence
LibertarianGary JohnsonBill Weld

U.S. Senator

DemocratMike Workmana
RepublicanJames Lankford
LibertarianRobert T. Murphy
IndependentSean Braddy
IndependentMark T. Beard

U.S. Representative District 2

DemocratJoshua Harris-Till
RepublicanMarkwayne Mullin
IndependentJohn McCarthy

U.S. Representative District 3

DemocratFrankie Robbins
RepublicanFrank D. Lucas

Oklahoma Senate District 25

DemocratRobert Founds
RepublicanJoe Newhouse

Oklahoma Senate District 33

DemocratKimberly Fobbs
RepublicanNathan Dahm

Oklahoma Senate District 35

DemocratThomas Ryan
RepublicanGary Stanislawski
LibertarianFrank Grove

Oklahoma Senate District 37

DemocratLloyd Snow
RepublicanDan Newberry
IndependentShawn W. Ketcher

Oklahoma Senate District 39

DemocratJohn Waldron
RepublicanDave Rader

Oklahoma House District 12

DemocratDarla Milligan
RepublicanKevin McDugle

Oklahoma House District 23

DemocratKeith Welch, Sr.
RepublicanTerry O’Donnell

Oklahoma House District 66

DemocratDianna Phillips
RepublicanJadine Nollan

Oklahoma House District 67

DemocratLori Decker Wright
RepublicanScott McEachin
LibertarianZac Davis

Oklahoma House District 69

DemocratPaul Sullivan
RepublicanChuck Strohm

Oklahoma House District 70

DemocratJoe Jennings
RepublicanCarol Bush
LibertarianTamara Morton

Oklahoma House District 71

DemocratMillie Hardesty
RepublicanKatie Henke

Oklahoma House District 72

DemocratMonroe Nichols
RepublicanWhitney Cole

Oklahoma House District 74

DemocratJeri Moberly
RepublicanDale Derby

Oklahoma House District 75

DemocratKaren Gaddis
RepublicanDan Kirby

Oklahoma House District 76

DemocratGlenda K. Puett
RepublicanDavid Brumbaugh

Oklahoma House District 78

DemocratMeloyde Blancett
RepublicanMolly McKay
LibertarianEugene Bell

Oklahoma House District 79

RepublicanWeldon Watson
IndependentTeresa Marlar

Oklahoma House District 80

DemocratTom Bates
RepublicanMike Ritze

Oklahoma House District 98

DemocratStephanie Conduff-Rogers
RepublicanMichael Rogers

Tulsa County Commissioner District 2

RepublicanJosh Turley
DemocratKaren Keith

Judicial Retention

Oklahoma Supreme Court

James Winchester

Douglas Combs

Court of Criminal Appeals

Carlene Clancy Smith

Rob Hudson

Court of Civil Appeals

Larry Joplin

John Fischer

Thomas Thornbrugh

Tulsa City Council

District 1

Vanessa Hall-Harper

Jack Henderson

District 2

Jeannie Cue

Aaron Bisogno

District 9

Ben Kimbro

Eric McCray