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The Latest: Harris in GOP runoff for Oklahoma US House seat

Posted: 9:34 AM, Jun 26, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-27 10:40:46Z

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The Latest on Oklahoma's primary election (all times local):

10:05 p.m.

Former Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris has advanced to a runoff election for the Republican nomination in Oklahoma's 1st Congressional District.

The longtime prosecutor advanced Tuesday in a five-candidate field for the GOP nomination for the open Tulsa-area district. The seat has been vacant since April when former U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine resigned to become administrator of NASA. President Donald Trump nominated Bridenstine to head the space agency in September.

Harris was first elected district attorney in 1998 and is the longest serving prosecutor in Tulsa County's history. He retired in 2014.

A runoff election is set for Aug. 28, and the winner will meet the Democratic nominee in the Nov. 6 general election.

9:45 p.m.

Former Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett has advanced to the August runoff to decide who gets the Republican nomination in Oklahoma's governor's race.

The 59-year-old Cornett is among top vote getters in Tuesday's GOP primary election in the crowded 10-man field seeking to replace Gov. Mary Fallin, who is term limited. The primary runoff is Aug. 28. The general election, when the GOP winner will face a Democrat, is in November.

Cornett is a former television reporter who was first elected mayor of Oklahoma City in 2004 and served four consecutive terms during a revitalization of the state's capital city.

Political newcomer and businessman Kevin Stitt and Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb are also considered favorites headed for the Republican runoff.

9:15 p.m.

   Oklahoma voters have backed the medicinal use of marijuana, despite opposition from law enforcement and business, faith and political leaders.

   State Question 788 was the result of an activist-led signature drive. It allows physicians to approve medical marijuana licenses for people to legally grow, keep and use cannabis. The proposal doesn't list any qualifying medical conditions, allowing doctors to prescribe it for a wide range of ailments.

   Opponents had argued the proposal was too loosely written, and Gov. Mary Fallin said it would essentially allow recreational use. She recently warned that if the measure passed, she would have to call lawmakers into a special session to develop rules regulating the industry in Oklahoma.

   It's the first marijuana question on a state ballot in 2018. Elections are scheduled for later this year in Michigan and Utah.

8:55 p.m.

Incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Russell has advanced through his party primary to face a Democratic opponent in the fall.

Russell won the GOP nomination Tuesday and is set for the Nov. 6 general election.

He represents the 5th Congressional District, which includes downtown Oklahoma City. The revitalized core of the state's capital city has drawn a growing population of young professionals and retirees seeking a more urban lifestyle.

Democrat Kendra Horn is expected to lead a crowded field seeking that party's nomination for House District 5.

8:40 p.m.

Former Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson has defeated ex-state Sen. Connie Johnson to win the Democratic nomination in the race to be the state's next governor.

Edmondson will face the eventual Republican nominee in November.

Edmondson's victory Tuesday was something he was unable to do in 2010. He was upset in that Democratic primary by then-Lt. Gov. Jari Askins.

The 71-year-old Edmondson is a Vietnam War veteran from Muskogee who served four terms as Oklahoma attorney general. He had a huge fundraising advantage over Johnson. The $1.5 million he raised was more than 20 times as much as Johnson, a 66-year-old former state senator from Oklahoma City.

   Johnson has been a longtime champion of legalizing marijuana and abolishing the death penalty.

8 p.m.

Incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas will face a Democratic contender in his bid for a 13th term in Congress.

Lucas advanced to the general election Tuesday after running uncontested for the GOP nomination for re-election to represent Oklahoma's House District 3.

He is the state's longest-serving congressman, having been first elected in 1994.

The 3rd Congressional District is the state's most expansive, stretching from the Panhandle eastward nearly to Tulsa, then southwestward to the Texas state line.

The general election is set for Nov. 6.

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7 p.m.

Polls have closed for Oklahoma's 2018 primary election.

Polls closed at 7 p.m. Tuesday after opening at 7 a.m. for Oklahoma's first open governor's race since 2010. Fifteen candidates -- including 10 Republicans, two Democrats and three Libertarians -- are seeking to replace two-term Republican Gov. Mary Fallin, who is term limited and cannot seek a third term.

The candidates include Barry Gowdy, Blake Stephens, Christopher Barnett, Dan Fisher, Eric Foutch, Gary Jones, Gary Richardson Kevin Stitt, Mick Cornett, Todd Lamb, Chris Powell, Joe Exotic, Rex Lawhorn, Connie Johnson and Drew Edmondson. 

Bryan Dean of the Oklahoma Election Board says officials hope that voter turnout will be high among the state's more than two million registered voters. In addition to elective positions, voters will decide a state question on the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Runoff elections, if necessary, will be held on Aug. 28.

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6:10 p.m.

Election officials in Oklahoma say votes cast in a Tulsa-area parking lot should be recorded without any problems.

Tulsa County Election Board Secretary Gwen Freeman says voters and poll workers were locked out of Will Rogers United Methodist Church when they arrived Tuesday. Freeman says workers allowed voters to use truck beads and trunks as desk space to fill out their ballots.

Oklahoma State Election Board spokesman Bryan Dean said ballots can be loaded into machines that record them later and that those machines can operate on battery backups.

Dean praised the poll workers' ingenuity and said ballots would be recorded "one way or another."

Polls close at 7 p.m. The state Election Board has reported a sharp uptick in early voting this year compared to four years ago. County election officials say turnout Tuesday has been strong.

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5:35 p.m.

State and county election officials in Oklahoma say voter turnout has been strong, mirroring upticks in early voting numbers.

Tulsa County Election Board Secretary Gwen Freeman says spring teacher protests seem to have gotten voters engaged, and that many voters feel strongly about Tuesday's vote on medical marijuana.

Enthusiasm was particularly high among Democrats for early voting, which ended Saturday.

Oklahoma Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax says nearly 31,000 registered Democrats voted early ahead of Tuesday's elections, more than twice the 14,100 who voted early in 2014.

Turnout is sharply higher for Republicans, too. Ziriax says about 36,600 Republicans voted early this year, compared to about 21,600 in 2014.

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4:20 p.m.

Years of cuts to the Oklahoma budget are carrying weight for some voters when it comes to a state question on whether to legalize medicinal marijuana.

Meaghan Hunt cast her vote Tuesday's in favor of legalization because she wants sales of the plant to generate new revenue for the state. She hopes that money would fund education.

The 33-year-old librarian's vote comes after thousands of teachers demonstrated at the state Capitol in the spring demanding more money for classrooms.

Hunt says she also views marijuana as another form of treatment for patients with various ailments and wants them to have as many options as possible.

State Question 788 would allow physicians to approve licenses for people to legally grow, keep and use cannabis. Law enforcement, business, political and faith leaders launched a late, half-million-dollar campaign to defeat it.

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1:15 p.m.

A proposal to authorize medical marijuana in Oklahoma has sharply divided voters who are casting primary election ballots.

Real estate agent Connie Givens says she voted against the measure Tuesday at her voting precinct in northwest Oklahoma City. Givens, a 67-year-old Republican, says she believes the ballot measure is written too broadly and will permit people to use marijuana recreationally.

DECISION 2018: Oklahoma primary election results

But 30-year-old attorney Dylan Edwards says he voted for the measure. Edwards says people suffering from a variety of ailments can benefits from marijuana's use and that it is no more dangerous than alcohol or tobacco.

The measure, State Question 788, is the result of an activist-led signature drive launched more than two years ago. If approved, it would make it legal to grow, sell and use marijuana for medicinal purposes.

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10 a.m.

Voters at a Tulsa precinct cast their ballots in a parking lot for Tuesday's primary election after they were locked out of their voting location.

At the Will Rogers United Methodist Church, voters filled out ballots in the back of a precinct worker's vehicle because no one had arrived to unlock the building for voting.  At three other locations, either police or school employees arrived to unlock the doors after the 7 a.m. start time of voting.

Polls are open until 7 p.m. The Oklahoma State Election Board has reported a sharp uptick in early voting this year compared to four years ago.

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7 a.m.

Polls have opened across Oklahoma for the 2018 primary election for governor and other statewide and legislative seats.

Polls will remain open until 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The race for Oklahoma governor is at the top of the primary election ballot. A total of 15 candidates -- 10 Republicans, two Democrats and three Libertarians -- are seeking to replace term-limited Republican Gov. Mary Fallin in the first open governor's race since 2010.

Bryan Dean of the Oklahoma State Election Board says officials hope that voter turnout will be high among the state's more than 2 million registered voters. In addition to elected positions, voters will decide whether to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Runoff elections, if necessary, will be held on Aug. 28.

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12:01 a.m.

Nearly 100 educators and administrators are running for seats in the Oklahoma Legislature during a primary election that also will narrow the crowded field for governor and decide the nation's first medical marijuana ballot question this year.

After massive demonstrations from teachers at the Capitol, the teachers are running for state House and Senate seats. Some even are Republicans challenging GOP incumbents who voted against tax increases that funded teacher pay hikes.

In other key races, 15 candidates are seeking term-limited Republican Gov. Mary Fallin's seat.

State Question 788  would allow physicians to approve licenses for people to legally grow, keep and use cannabis. Law enforcement, business, political and faith leaders launched a late, half-million-dollar campaign to defeat it.

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