Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma's 5th District, Lieutenant Governor Races Top Runoff Ballot

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma's 5th District, Lieutenant Governor Races Top Runoff Ballot

Article excerpt

Hard-fought lieutenant governor contests for both parties and a GOP congressional race head today's runoff ballot, where state election officials expect a low voter turnout.

State Election Board Secretary Michael Clingman said Monday that traditionally runoff turnout drops about one-fifth below turnout for the primary.

"Of course, it all depends on what offices are being run off, how many there are," he said.

This year's primary drew about 25 percent of those registered to vote, which means that Tuesday's turnout could hover around 20 percent.

"But what it will be is anybody's guess," Clingman said.

In some of the fewer than a dozen, chiefly Southern, states that hold runoffs, turnout runs even less than that.

About a half dozen states have an election system like Oklahoma's, which requires a runoff if no primary candidate receives a majority of the vote.

Dual lieutenant governor runoffs ensure that, unlike some years, voters in all 77 counties will have at least one category in which to cast votes.

The 5th Congressional District GOP primary, to select a nominee to face Democrat Dr. David Hunter in November, has been a fairly expensive contest.

The district was thrown open when U.S. Rep. Ernest Istook decided to run for governor.

Current Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin had raised $1,035,810 by Aug. 2 with $158,895 in cash remaining, according to her pre-runoff report filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Individual reports filed since then show that Fallin had drawn another $163,800 through Aug. 17.

A former House member, Fallin has been lieutenant governor for 12 years.

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett told the FEC that he took in $381,169 through Aug. 2, with $117,623 remaining. Five reports filed since then show that Cornett has drawn another $70,900 in contributions.

Cornett was also outspent in the primary, but drew more votes than Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Denise Bode to make the runoff with Fallin.

A former sports and news broadcaster, Cornett has been mayor since 2004.

Polls sponsored by various media outlets show Fallin the favorite, out-polling Cornett by roughly 20 percentage points.

At the GOP primary, in a six-candidate field, Fallin pulled in 34. …

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