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June 25, 2014

Lankford trounces Shannon, Barresi voted out

DUNCAN —  U.S. Rep. James Lankford won the Republican nomination to replace U.S. Senator  Tom Coburn  without a runoff on Tuesday with a convincing 23-point victory over State Rep. T.W. Shannon of Lawton.

   Lankford, Shannon and a variety of political observers had predicted a runoff was likely to determine the Republican nominee for the final two years of Coburn’s unexpired term.

   Shannon, a former Oklahoma House speaker, attempted to cast Lankford as a Washington insider because of his votes to increase the federal debt ceiling, but Coburn defended Lankford’s reputation.

    Lankford appeared at a victory celebration in Oklahoma City and said any bruised feelings within the state’s Republican Party would be short-lived.

  "We have said all along — the other six folks in this race are not our opponent. (U.S. Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid is our opponent," Lankford, 46, told supporters at a watch party in Oklahoma City. "I have not written off our nation. We have been through difficult times before. We can resolve this."

Shannon called Lankford to congratulate him on running a "first-class race."

  "Unfortunately tonight did not turn out the way we'd hoped, but hope is not lost," Shannon told supporters Tuesday night. "We must remain committed to the ideas of liberty, and we must keep fighting for the conservative cause."

   Voters in Stephens County slightly favored Shannon, who received  1,325 votes to Lankford’s 1,114.

     On the Democratic side, State Sen. Connie Johnson, with 44 percent, and Jim Rogers, with 35 percent, advanced to a runoff for the Democratic nomination to replace   Coburn.

    Oklahoma Republicans also rejected Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi, who  was defeated in a landslide vote by Joy Hofmeister, a former state board of education member who left the board after clashing with Barresi.

  Hofmeister received about 57 percent of the statewide Republican vote.

   Stephens County voters also favored Hofmeister, giving her 1,435 votes to Barresi’s 625 and Brian S. Kelly’s 477 votes.

   In the Democratic primary for school superintendent, John Cox and Freda Deskin fought to runoff, which will be Aug. 23. Cox received 41 percent of the vote to Deskin’s 38 percent. Former Duncan School Superintendent Jack Herron received 13 percent.

   In other races:

 U.S. Rep. Tom Cole defeated Anna Flatt with 84 percent of the vote in 4th Congressional District Republican Primary. Bert Smith defeated Tae Si for the Democratic nomination for the congressional seat.

  Todd Hiett defeated Cliff Branan with 52 percent of the vote in the Republican race for a spot on the Corporation Commission.

  In the GOP Insurance Commissioner primary, John Doak defeated Bill Viner with 77 percent of the vote.

 Gov. Mary Fallin was renominated with 76 percent of the vote. She will face  State Rep. Joe Dorman, D-Rush Springs, the Democratic nominee on Nov. 4.

 Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe was renominated with 88 percent of the vote.

 In the Republican primary for the 5th Congressional District, formerly held by Lankford, Steve Russell, with 27 percent, and Patrice Douglas,  24 percent, advanced to a runoff.

 In Oklahoma House District 65, Scott Hayes, with 32 percent, and Scooter Park, with 27 percent,  advanced to a runoff for the Republican nomination.

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