Seven of the 13 members in the House of Representatives being challenged by members of their own political party appeared headed for victory tonight, according to early unofficial returns from the state Election Board.The other six were involved in close races.With just about half the returns reporting, Rep. Jabar Shumate, D-Tulsa, was trailing a Tulsa Fire Department administrative chief, Kevin Matthews, in the battle over who would win the House District 73 seat.House Speaker Chris Benge, R-Tulsa, appeared on his way to winning a sixth-two year term, by defeating Brian Jackson of Tulsa in the Republican primary for the House District 68 seat.Other incumbents who had substantial leads and appeared to be assured of re-election were Reps. Jerry Shoemake, D-Morris and Paul Wesselhoft, R-Moore.
House members with comfortable leads were Reps. David Dank, R-Oklahoma City; Gary Banz, R-Midwest City; Randy Terrill, R-Moore; and Reps. Mike Shelton and Anastasia Pittman, both Oklahoma City Democrats.
Reps. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, John Enns, R-Enid; John Trebilcock, R-Broken Arrow; and David Derby, R-Owasso, were in close battles.
- Michael McNutt, Capitol Bureau
FOR STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT NO. 53
3 OF 17 precincts
RANDY TERRILL 189 72.14%
CURTIS BRUEHL 73 27.86%
(REP) FOR STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT NO. 54
3 OF 15 precincts
DUSTIN McGOWEN 25 17.36%
PAUL WESSELHOFT 119 82.64%
Thirty-two primary election battles for the state House of Representatives are on tap for tonight. The primary underscores what will be one of the bigger political dramas this election season — which party will win control of the state Legislature. Right now, Republicans hold a majority in the House and hope to keep it that way. Democrats are hoping to win back the House.
But before that fate can be decided, the parties must first decide who advances to the runoff in August or to the general election in November.