The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

April 16, 2014

Because there are so many unopposed incumbents, open seats draw the most activity

ENID, Okla. — Many incumbents didn’t draw opposition in this year’s election filings. Most of the action will be found in seats becoming vacant.

The primary election is June 24. If no Democrats filed to run, the winner of that contest will be the next representative. If no candidate receives at least half of the vote, a runoff election with the top two vote-getters will be Aug. 26.

As announced, Enid City Commissioner Mike Stuber and Chad Caldwell, Hospice Circle of Love executive director, are two Republicans battling to replace the retiring Mike Jackson in House District 40. The winner will compete against Democrat Pierce Jones in the Nov. 4 general election.

In the expansive rural District 38, six candidates have filed for Rep. Dale DeWitt’s open District 38 House seat, because the legislator is term-limited. They are Ralph Meade, of Nardin; John Pfeiffer, of Mulhall; Roy Chaney, of Newkirk; Harold LeValley, of Braman; Deer Creek’s Jason Warren; and Enid’s Niki Schrader.

In House District 41, Republican John Enns, of Enid, filed for re-election, but the incumbent will be joined on the primary ballot by Enid’s Dr. Jonathan Ross Vanhooser, the brother of Enid City Commissioner David Vanhooser. In the race to succeed Blaine County’s senator, Democrat Tom Ivester, it will be Kevin Black of Texola against Republicans Dan Gambill of Elk City and Darcy Jech of Kingfisher.

Congressman Frank Lucas’ campaign filed for re-election for his 3rd Congressional District seat, and drew two GOP challengers. Canadian County rancher and business owner Robert Hubbard, of Yukon, who previously ran for governor, filed against the 10-term U.S. representative. A third candidate in the Republican primary, Moore’s Timothy Murray, filed after running against Lucas in 2010 as a Democrat. And Democrat Frankie Robbins of Medford is running.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe also drew several challengers, including 78-year-old Ray Woods, of Fairview, who will appear on the ballot as an independent.

We hope all candidates stick to the issues during this election cycle. They should avoid personal attacks and keep the mudslinging to a minimum.

About those unopposed incumbents:

Speaker of the House Jeff Hickman is the only person seeking the District 58 state House seat.

Kingfisher Republican Rep. Mike Sanders filed to hold on to his District 59 seat.

Incumbent Eddie Fields, who represents Kay and Osage counties northeast of Enid, drew no challengers.

District Judge Paul Woodward will keep his seat, as he was the only candidate interested in running. He joins Judge Dennis Hladik and Tom Newby on the Garfield County bench.

District Attorney Mike Fields was unopposed. None of the Garfield County officers drew challengers. James Simunek and Marc Bolz will keep their county commissioner seats. Wade Patterson will remain assessor, and Kevin Postier will serve another term as treasurer.

We congratulate those candidates re-elected without opposition.

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