It’s official: The voters have fired Brent Rinehart.
With all precincts reporting, Rinehart received only 21 percent of the vote. That wasn’t enough to make it to the Republican runoff for his District 2 Oklahoma County commissioner seat.
Reached in the lobby of a movie theater, where he was attempting to watch “The Dark Knight” with his girlfriend, Rinehart reflected on what cost him his job in tonight’s primary election.
“Too many hurdles. Mountain too high. Too many battles,” Rinehart said. “You hope throughout everything that the public sees and understands and so you do your best, and I’ve done my best.”
Rinehart said there’s more work to be done before he leaves office, starting tomorrow morning at the weekly board of county commissioners meeting.
– John Estus
Carolynn Caudill, speaking from a watch party at an employee’s upscale home in Bethany:
“We have lots to do,” she said of the next four years.
About the campaign, she said, “It was brutal. It was very difficult for me when I know that lies are being told about me and it’s very expensive to counter them … I believe in the people of Oklahoma County and they believe in me, apparently.”
– Nolan Clay
Republican Dana Murphy appeared to be on her way to winning a narrow victory Tuesday night over opponent Rob Johnson in a contest that decided who will face Corporation Commissioner Jim Roth in a November special election.
With all but three precincts reporting, Murphy, 48, received 68,609 votes, while Johnson, 34, received 65,839 votes.
– Jack Money
At a watch party in Bethany, J.D. Johnston said he’s glad to be in the runoff against Brian Maughan for the Oklahoma County District 2 commissioner seat.
“I’d rather have won, but this gives me another chance. So, of course, I’m happy to be in the runoff now,” Johnston said.
He said about Maughan: “I’m not really knocking him. I just want to offer out my experience that I’ve had — the 10 years that I was with the city of Bethany. I was a councilman for three years and mayor for seven years.”
– Nolan Clay
From the state Election Board:
(DEM) FOR U.S. SENATOR 2189 OF 2234 precincts reporting
ANDREW RICE 112,204 59.54%
JIM ROGERS 76,254 40.46%
(DEM) FOR U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT NO. 1 316 OF 351 precincts reporting
MARK MANLEY 8,195 44.37%
GEORGIANNA W. OLIVER 10,275 55.63%
(DEM) FOR U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT NO. 2 570 OF 570 precincts reporting
DAN BOREN 66,030 85.24%
KEVIN COLEMAN 11,437 14.76%
(DEM) FOR U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT NO. 5 330 OF 330 precincts reporting
BERT SMITH 9,002 41.11%
STEVEN L. PERRY 12,897 58.89%
(REP) FOR U.S. SENATOR 2189 OF 2234 precincts reporting
JIM INHOFE 112,393 84.18%
EVELYN L. ROGERS 10,447 7.82%
DENNIS LOPEZ 3,671 2.75%
TED RYALS 7,009 5.25%
(REP) FOR U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT NO. 1 316 OF 351 precincts reporting
FRAN MO-GHADDAM 2,698 8.29%
JOHN SULLIVAN 29,840 91.71%
(REP) FOR CORPORATION COMMISSIONER (SHORT TERM) 2189 OF 2234 precincts reporting
ROB JOHNSON 63,728 48.97%
DANA MURPHY 66,415 51.03%
An extremely tight race for the GOP corporation Commission contest prompted different election night tactics by the candidates today.
Dana Murphy mingled with supporters and reporters at the Oklahoma City Republican Party headquarters while Rob Johnson waited in the wings for a trend to develop before showing up at his campaign watch party at the Bricktown Brewery.
Murphy is clinging to a 2-percent lead with about 90 percent of the votes counted. She said she felt now the way she did when the campaign started — at peace.
She said she knocked on 1,100 doors in 102-degree heat the last five days of the campaign and thought it might be paying off.
“I think we won a lot of votes from people seeing me out there knocking on doors,” she said.
– Randy Ellis
Regardless of who wins the Oklahoma County clerk’s race, the animosity between the two candidates isn’t likely to subside.
County Clerk Carolynn Caudill and her opponent, Stan Inman, have a long history going back to Inman’s time as District 3 Commissioner.
Caudill was no fan of Inman’s predecessor, Stuart Earnest, and the two started off well enough after Inman won the commissioner’s seat in 2002. But their relationship deteriorated quickly once Inman took office.
The two clashed over Caudill’s desire to share software with other county clerks in the state, and as is common in county politics, the professional disagreement quickly became personal.
Caudill and Inman repeatedly sparred verbally at public meetings. The animosity only got worse when Inman and District 2 Commissioner Brent Rinehart decided to disband the county budget board, made up of all eight elected county officials, and put the budgeting responsibility in the hands of commissioners.
Caudill supported Ray Vaughn, a former state legislator, when he challenged Inman in the 2006 election. Vaughn won the seat easily.
When Inman decided to challenge Caudill for her job this year, not surprisingly, the campaign turned negative relatively quickly. Inman accused Caudill of releasing sensitive personal information of county property holders on her Web site, claimed she rarely showed up for work and cited a critical auditor’s report.
Caudill responded by calling Inman a liar and a “desperate man trying to deflect attention from his poor record as a county commissioner.”
So far, Caudill holds a lead over Inman.
– Bryan Dean
A Shawnee Senator who will lead the Senate next year if Democrats gain control praised voters in southeastern Oklahoma for their votes for Democratic candidate Jerry Ellis.
Sen. Charlie Laster, D-Shawnee, said voters of Senate District 5 in southeastern Oklahoma have spoken and will send Ellis, 61, of Valliant, to the Senate to replace Sen. Jeff Rabon, D-Hugo, who cannot run again because of term limits.
Ellis was running against Steve Young, Clayton, in the Democratic primary.
Laster has been picked by fellow Democrats to be the Senate President Pro Tempore, although Republicans think they will take control of the Senate. That would mean that Sen. Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City, would be the Senate President Pro Tempore.
– John Greiner
Dana Murphy continues to lead Rob Johnson in the Republican primary being held today for one of November’s Corporation Commission races.
With about two-thirds of 2,234 precincts reporting, Murphy had 53,188 votes, while Johnson had 51,152.
The winner of the race will face Commissioner Jim Roth in a special election for his seat. The winner of the November race will serve out the remainder of former Commissioner Denise Bode’s term — a period of two years.
– Jack Money