With virtually all the votes in, the Oklahoma primary produced one surprising result: Lt. Gov. Jari Askins narrowly upset Attorney General Drew Edmondson for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Though Askins’ lead was a spare 1533 votes out of 260,000, Edmondson has conceded and pledged his support to Askins in the general election, reflecting the civil tone of the primary.
Meanwhile, less surprisingly, Rep. Mary Fallin won the Republican gubernatorial nomination with 55% of the vote to Randy Brodgon’s 39%. And in congressional primaries, Democratic Dan Boren crushed progressive challenger Jim Wilson by better than a 3-1 margin, and will face the winner of a runoff between Daniel Edmonds and Charles Thompson. Another runoff will be held on August 24 for the Republican nomination for Fallin’s old House seat, with “outsider” James Lankford edging out the early front-runner, former state legislator Kevin Calvey, for first place.
Askins won by holding Edmondson close to even in rural Eastern Oklahoma, and then overcoming his lead in the Tulsa area with a big performance in the southwest part of the state. It appears she won most of the late undecided vote.
Fallin did not at all exceed expectations, but did win a sizable majority of the state’s counties, with her 14,000 vote margin in Oklahoma County (Oklahoma City) far more than offsetting Brogden’s expected win in Tulsa.
Total turnout in the Democratic gubernatorial primary exceeded that of the Republican primary by roughly 19,000 votes (out of a total vote of 507,000, or about 25% of registered voters), with a handful of precincts still out. This reflected a 49/40 Democratic registration advantage, but is still good news for an embattled Democratic Party trying to avoid a wipeout this November. According to current polls, the Fallin-Askins general election should be quite competitive; according to a Sooner Poll last week, Fallin leads Askins 46-40.