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June 24, 2014

Lankford leads Shannon in latest GOP Senate poll

DUNCAN — U.S. Rep. James Lankford  carries an 8-point lead over former State House Speaker T.W. Shannon in the race to replace U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn in today’s Republican Primary.

Voting begins at 7 a.m. today and ends at 7 p.m. across the state.

A Sooner Poll/News 9/News on 6 poll conducted Thursday through Saturday shows Lankford of Edmond with 43.4 percent of likely Republican voters. Shannon of Lawton has 34.9 percent and former State Sen. Randy Brogdon of Owasso has  4 percent.

The poll found 13 percent of the likely GOP voters undecided.

Political observers and the candidates themselves have predicted for weeks the race probably will be decided in a runoff on Aug. 23.

The Republican nominee is considered by most to be assured of victory in November over the Democratic Party nominee because of Oklahoma’s decided swing toward the Republican Party.

The winner in November will serve the remaining two years of U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn’s term. Coburn has not made an outright endorsement in the race, but he has defended Lankford from political attacks he has called untrue.

Shannon, meanwhile, has been endorsed by former U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts of Oklahoma City and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. Both have made  TV commercials touting Shannon, who was the first African-American and first Native-American to serve as speaker of the Oklahoma House.

Shannon is an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Indian tribe and was employed as an executive in the tribe’s business operations before he won public office.

In the other statewide race that’s attracted interest, incumbent Janet Barresi is trailing challenger Joy Hofmeister in the her re-election campaign for state superintendent of education.

The Sooner Poll/News 9/News on 6 poll taken Thursday through Saturday last week shows Hofmeister leading Barresi by 22 points with 41.7 percent of likely Republican voters.

Nearly 25 percent of the voters in that race remain undecided.

In the Democratic Party primary, four men are running for the state superintendent nomination: John Cox, a school superintendent and educator, Fran Deskin, a charter school CEO and former teacher, Jack Herron, the former superintendent of Duncan schools, and Ivan Holmes, a retired college professor who is the former state chairman of the Democratic Party.

In Stephens County, the only contested race for the Oklahoma Legislature is in House District 65, where Renae Sexton of  Apache, Scott Hayes of Elgin, Scooter Park of Devol and Stephen Mills of Rush Springs are seeking the Republican nomination.

The district is represented by State Rep. Joe Dorman of Rush Springs, who must step down because of term limits. Dorman is  unopposed for the Democratic Party nomination for governor.

Other races today:

 For a seat on the Corporation Commission, Cliff Brannan, a state senator and commercial real estate broker, faces  Todd Hiett, a rancher who is a former Oklahoma House speaker and nominee for lieutenant governor  in 2006.

 Gov. Mary Fallin goes for her second term against Chad Moody, an attorney and marijuana legalization activist,  and Dax Ewbank, a technology professional and Libertarian activist.

 U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe runs for re-election against four little-known challengers.

 U.S. Rep. Tom Cole opposes  challenger Anna Flatt, a property manager who chairs the Carter County Republican Party for the 4th Congressional District Republican nomination.

 Insurance Commissioner John Doak seeks re-election against insurance consultant Bill Viner

 The Democratic Party race to nominate a candidate for the remaining U.S. Senate term of incumbent Republican Tom Coburn  has State Sen. Connie Johnson, D-Oklahoma City,  running against Jim Rogers, a retired teacher, and Patrick Hayes.

 Democrats also will choose  a nominee for the 4th Congressional District, with   Tae Si, a software engineer and businessman, and Bert Smith, a teacher, financial consultant, Vietnam War veteran and frequent candidate, on the ballot.

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