Incumbents take a runoff beating

  • Oklahoma State Senate

It wasn’t business as usual for the Republican primary runoff elections for State Legislature, as all three incumbents on the ballot, Larry Boggs of Senate District 7, Ron Sharp of Senate District 17, and Paul Scott of Senate District 43 were defeated in their re-election bids Tuesday.

Both Boggs and Scott won a plurality of votes in their June Primaries, but didn’t secure enough support in the runoff to continue to their respective general elections. There were no Democratic runoffs for state office in this election.

Warren Hamilton, an abortion abolitionist candidate backed by Ekklesia of Oklahoma and Free the States organization, overcame a 4 percentage point deficit to Larry Boggs in the June primary for Senate District 7 to win by over 4 percentage points, with 52.3% of the vote in the runoff.

Both candidates received fewer overall votes in the runoff than they did in the June primary.

Hamilton is the only abolitionist candidate for state legislature to advance to the general election, despite at least 15 candidates for statewide office being backed by abolitionist groups.

The Oklahoma GOP spent significant amounts of time and money since June to support Boggs. However, Hamilton will advance to the general election against Democrat Jerry Donathan.

Boggs had held the seat since 2012.

Jessica Garvin, a small business owner and nursing home administrator, overcame a 10.5 percentage point deficit to whip incumbent Paul Scott in the Senate District 43 primary to win the runoff by 3.1%.

Scott was only 14 votes shy (out of 11,396 cast) in the June primary of avoiding a runoff altogether, with a 1,211 vote advantage over Garvin.

Garvin will advance to the general election against Democrat Terri Reimer.

Senator Scott held the seat for one term after defeating incumbent Corey Brooks in the 2016 Republican primary and Democrat Leah Pollen in the general election.

Former State Representative Shane Jett, who received 44.2% of the vote in the primary compared to Senator Ron Sharp’s 33.3%, increased his overall vote count by 31 to beat Sharp by nearly 19 percentage points to advance to the general election for Senate District 35.

Jett served as Representative for House District 27 from 2004 to 2010.

In the eight Republican runoffs for the state Legislature, five of them saw declines of between 16% and 33% in total votes cast compared to the June primary.