Oklahoma GOP primary candidate info

It took me a while to find a good source of who I’ll be able to vote for in the primary election this Tuesday, but I realized I should have gone to the state website in the first place. The Online Voter Tool allows anyone to look up voter registration, polling place, and ballot for any registered voter, as long as you have their first and last name and their date of birth.

Putting in myself, I was able to come up with a sample ballot on which I can base my research. While I’ll just be researching the candidates I can vote for, many of them are state-wide, and perhaps you can use this research as a basis for looking up anyone else who you get to vote for. Going down the list:

State Officers

For Governor

Chad Moody, also known as “The Drug Lawyer,” is running on the slogan “God, Grass & Guns” apparently looking to pull in the combined support of freedom advocates in those three areas. In an interview with KOCO Moody says he would be the “Freedom Governor,” and that the campaign started as a joke and turned into something serious. His official website is stuck in a redirect loop now back online but doesn’t say anything about his campaign, so I couldn’t get info from there. The first link which shows up in googling “Chad Moody for Governor” is a Fundly page where he has 63 supporters and has raised $2200. Additional info can be found on the campaign Facebook page and the only copy of his campaign platform I’ve been able to find is on the info page there. No twitter account was found.

Mary Fallin, current Governor of Oklahoma, is running on her record of improving the state’s economy, government, and education. As Governor, there is of course quite a bit of information available about her. You can see her official website, her wikipedia page, twitter account, and two Facebook pages (as Governor and as a candidate). She has some videos available including a minute about her 2nd term goals and a highlight reel of her State of the State 2014.

The key points of that last video are that under her governance unemployment has dropped from 7.2% to 5.4%, the rainy day fund was taken from next to nothing up to over a half million dollars, quality and outcomes in education have improved, and taxes have been lowered. She says to take every opportunity to lower taxes, and that Oklahoma can be an example to the country of sound common sense conservative government, for a better, stronger, more prosperous state.

Dax Ewbank is a former pastor and advocate of limited government. You can see his official websiteTwitter, YouTube, and a couple Facebook pages (campaign and personal). From his website’s Issues page I’ve found that Ewbank is running on abolishing the state income tax, putting control of education in the hands of parents and teachers (rather than the state or federal government), and advocating for state sovereignty and individual liberty. He also opposes Obamacare, but that’s pretty much a given for any Republican. In the category of individual liberty he mentions guns, the drug war, and limiting government power over peoples’ pursuit of happiness.

In summary, Mary Fallin is the more likely candidate, and is opposed by two libertarian non-politicians both advocating for religious freedom, ending the drug war, and gun rights. Moody makes grass a larger part of his campaign, while Ewbank puts a stronger emphasis on limiting government and cutting taxes. If one of these two had dropped out of the race early, the other might have a better chance, but as it stands anyone who would vote for one could just as easily vote for the other. Whatever issues she may have, I don’t think now is the time to try to switch governors.

For Superintendent of Public Instruction

Janet Barresi, the incumbent, founded two charter schools before becoming Superintendent. Her website’s issues page talks about a lot of good things, some highlights being school choice, accountability, abolishing the federal Department of Education, and fighting Common Core. On that last point, it seems she was a bit too slow to recognize common core as a problem. Many educators dislike her, a lot. See also this post from a school-choice advocate who I think I can trust on this subject.

Joy Hofmeister‘s website is the only one for a candidate in this race without an issues page, which bugs me. Her about page gives some info, but left me with a hopey-changey vibe, as do many of her supporters. Here‘s a description of someone’s personal experience with Joy, which says she does a lot of her own research, makes her own decisions, and wants what’s best for the kids. Much of the debate centers around how quickly someone saw common core as a problem, but there’s some evidence Hofmeister is really a liberal, and funded by liberals.

Brian Kelly is trailing, so not much of a concern. His about pageissues page (warning: wall of text), and front page throws up some red flags. He wants to raise teacher pay and benefits, and strive to “eliminate teacher layoffs.” Better pay for our teachers is likely good, but where will it come from? And maybe he’s just concerned about fund-cutting layoffs, but I want to make sure poor-performance teachers can be fired. I also hear he hasn’t said much, and won’t debate, so this guy isn’t worth your vote.

Summary: I don’t have a dog in this race, cause I have no kids. Barresi could be lying, but more likely Hofmeister is. Despite twitter conversations, and because of the likelihood of Hofmeister being a Dem plant, I’m throwing my support behind Barresi.

For Insurance Comminssioner

John Doak, the incumbent. Website, issues pageFacebook.  Since there is no Democrat running for the position, the race will be decided in this primary.

Bill Viner, the only opponent, is running on Doak overspending. He has no website, no Facebook. The only info I found was an interview on KFAQ. How to find out more? Email him, billvokc@yahoo.com. I’ve talked to him by email and one of his concerns is that Doak wants to let the market decide insurance prices. This makes me like Doak more. Plus, his flyer and other info he sent was a bit of a mess.

Summary: Sounds like Doak is spending too much, but I would have trouble supporting Viner unless he shows himself to have a better grasp of the power of free markets, and a better grasp of the internet.

For Corporation Commissioner

Cliff Branan is an Oklahoma State Senator. Website, Facebook. Issue page says he supports energy independence, decreased regulation, states’ rights, etc. But this article says he’s refused to debate his opponent. Some tea party people are upset with how he’s voted as a Senator, such as not opposing Agenda 21.

Todd Hiett was an Oklahoma House Representative and Speaker of the House. Website, Facebook. He’s running on federal overreach, private property rights, and the power of the market. This article brings up some problems with Hiett, while this one supports him. Here’s a campaign video. Another list of endorsements from someone I don’t know in Tulsa, has summaries which gave me a slight push toward Joy and Hiett.

Summary: Patrice Douglas, one of three OK Corporation Commissioners, is stepping down to run for US Congress. There is no Democrat, so the election will be decided in the primary. Hard to say who’s telling the truth; by what they say, both candidates look like fine Republican candidates, but who will do a better job for the good of Oklahomans? I’m not sure, but at this point I’m leaning toward Hiett.

Congressional Officers

There are lots of people running for these seats, and so I’ll only be reviewing people who seem to have a chance.

For United States Senator (Full term)

Jim Inhofe, the incumbent is one of the most conservative members of either house of Congress (as read on wikipedia, without digging into the source). He’s being challenged by Erick WyattEvelyn RogersRob Moye, and Jean McBride-Samuels. I hope to give these candidates the research they deserve, but aside from a desire to stir the senate often, I don’t have any issue with Inhofe.

For United States Senator (Remainder of term)

Senator Tom Coburn stepping down has created the more heated Senate race in Oklahoma. From what I hear the big contenders are James Lankford and T.W. Shannon. Lankford leads in this poll, while FreedomWorks is opposing him. Sen. Coburn has defended both candidates against attack ads he says are false, but has not endorsed a candidate.  I’ll continue to research; in the meantime, here is an analysis of the two candidates’ flyers. I’m certainly leaning toward Shannon, especially with him being supported by Mark Levin & Sarah Palin.

For United States Representative District 05

Looks like no one has taken off as a stand-out lead in this race. A News 9/News on 6 poll shows Patrice Douglas and Steve Russell in the lead (about 20% each), Mike Turner and Clark Jolly are tier two (about 12-13% each), and Shane Jett and Harvey Sparks are tier three (about 5-6% each). About 22% of respondents were still undecided, so this could go any which way, but will likely have a run-off election. RedState supports Mike Turner, and says Jolley and Douglas took Democrat money, but doesn’t mention Russell. I called Douglas, Russell, and Turner, and got to leave messages with each. I also emailed all three the following:


In trying to decide who to vote for, and I want to know where [candidate] stands on shutting down the government in order to prevent an increase in debt, and also on Mark Levin’s Liberty Amendments, a set of amendments to the US Constitution to limit government and increase freedom. You can read a summary of the amendments here, but I hope [candidate] has the book on hand.
Thank you,
J. Chris Tyler
Republican voter
A few hours later, I got a call from Russell’s campaign manager, Josh. In response to my questions, he says Russell is a big fan of Levin and his Liberty Amendments, and would shut down the government to stop a debt hike. He also pointed out several good points about Russell which I probably could’ve read about on his website. At this point, I’m throwing my support into Russell’s camp.

Is this information helpful to you? Is there any important info I missed? Where do you stand on the primary election? Does someone have a Democrat version of this guide? Leave a comment below and let me know!


5 thoughts on “Oklahoma GOP primary candidate info

  1. em3

    Thanks for all of the great research! This was just what I needed!
    Agreed with almost all of your conclusions, just one note:
    I think if you have kids or not you definitely still have a say in the public education system; you’re for sure paying for it! Barresi has done a pretty good job of doing what she said she would and I do respect that in a politician! Not sure if I can really get behind your support of Hofmeister, hard to say if the attacks Barresi leveled against her are true but if so, she does not seem like a good choice!

    Thank you for your obvious hard work and research on this, saved me a lot of time and headache!

    1. junctioncreature Post author

      That’s one of the races I’ve had the hardest time deciding on. It really comes down to who’s telling the truth. If Hofmeister is lying, she doesn’t deserve the job, but if Barresi is as bad as her opponents are saying, she should be defeated.

      I’m glad my research is helpful! Let me know if you find more on the truthyness of Hofmeister and Barresi claims.

  2. owlgirl

    Erick Paul Wyatt also sounds like an upstanding American… Just nice to ruffle the Washington feathers.
    Anyway, these people are public servants, that’s why we’re supposed to change them often, so we can all serve and share the burden. If one person serves too long it becomes a cruelty to them. (Someone I read once said something like that).
    Term limits for the good of our poor public servants!


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