Tuesday was a day of upsets on the election front in southern Oklahoma.


Editors note: Partial precinct-by-precinct results for Carter County will be published later this week.

Tuesday was a day of upsets on the election front in southern Oklahoma.

 

Newcomer Frank Simpson defeated former state legislator Darryl Roberts for a seat in the state Senate.

 

Dennis Morris defeated District Judge Tom Walker. And in House District 49, Republican Tommy Hardin appears to have defeated incumbent Samson Buck by less than 40 votes.

 

Election board secretaries in southern Oklahoma said voter turnout was strong. Carter County Election Board Secretary Helen McReynolds said Tuesday afternoon that several precincts reported long lines of people waiting to vote. She said more than 1,200 voters cast their ballots early during in-person absentee voting on Friday, Saturday and Monday. There are nearly 29,300 registered voters (both active and inactive) in the county. More than 17,600 of those voters are registered Democrats, which is more than the number of registered Republicans and independents combined.

 

Both Marshall and Murray counties reported a turnout of 50 percent or more. In Love County, 46.6 percent of the registered voters went to the polls.

 

Those who voted in the general election were asked to mark a lengthy two-sided ballot that included not only a number of political races, but 11 state questions. McReynolds earlier predicted voters would take longer than usual to cast their ballots, especially if they hadn’t prepared beforehand.

 

Senate District 14
Republican Frank Simpson will replace Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield in the state Senate.

 

The Associated Press called Simpson the winner. With 54 of 61 precincts reporting, Simpson was leading his Democratic opponent Darryl Roberts with 63 percent of the vote.

 

 “We are thrilled. This is a team victory,” Simpson said. “We said early on we could win this race. We ran a good, honorable campaign. This victory is the result of the hard work from a lot of people.”

 

A first-time candidate, Simpson defeated Johnny Loard in the Republican primary. Simpson is a U.S. Navy veteran and pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Mannsville. He and his wife live in Springer.

 

Crutchfield did not file for reelection because of term limits. Roberts is a former state Senate majority leader.

 

District 14 covers Carter, Love, Murray and part of Garvin counties.

 

House District 49
As the 2010 Election votes were tallied Tuesday night a neck-and-neck race developed between first-time candidate Tommy Hardin, Republican-Madill, who was seeking to unseat Rep. Samson “Sam” Buck, D-Marietta, from the state House District 49 seat.

 

By the end of the night, final vote totals appeared to indicate less than 40 votes separated the two, with Hardin claiming the miniscule lead.

 

Small lead or not, Hardin said he “believed” he was the official winner of the race. But Buck said he wasn’t ready to concede the victory.

 

“I feel good,” Hardin said, but added he was not celebrating quite yet.

 

“Sam did call me and told me he wasn’t ready to concede. I’m new to all of this, so I guess I’ll wait and see what Sam does and what will happen.”

 

In a telephone interview with The Ardmoreite, Buck confirmed he was not ready to give up the fight to retain his seat in the state House.

 

“We’re going to sleep on it tonight,” Buck said. “One source indicates there is just a 30 vote difference, another source indicates a 36 vote difference. Either way that’s close and I’m going to have to think about it — think about what I want to do. One thing I’m going to want to know about are any potential problems at the polls before I make a decision on what action to take.”

 

Hardin was essentially unopposed in the Republican primary election, although Jim Fischer’s name appeared on the ballot. Fischer withdrew from the race after the primary ballot was printed.

 

Buck defeated Republican Sean Oliver in the 2008 general election.

 

House District 49 includes all of Love and Marshall counties and a portion of Carter County.

 

District Judge
With all of the precincts reporting, Ardmore attorney Dennis Morris defeated incumbent Tom Walker for district judge with 56 percent of the vote.

 

Morris is a first-time candidate for office. He did not return a phone request for an election-eve interview.

 

Walker is the senior judge in southern Oklahoma. The judicial district includes Carter, Johnston, Love, Marshall and Murray counties.

 

House District 22
With 24 of 34 precincts reporting, state Rep. Wes Hilliard, a Democrat from Sulphur, was leading his Republican challenger Allie Burgin with more than 61 percent of the vote. Hilliard was seeking his fourth term in the Oklahoma House.

 

Senate District 6
With 47 of 69 precincts reporting, Republican Josh Brecheen was leading incumbent state Sen. Jay Paul Gumm with 57 percent of the vote. The Associated Press reported Gumm congratulated Brecheen, via his Twitter account, and said he “accepted this promotion to private citizenship.”

 

Gumm, a Democrat from Durant, was seeking his third and final four-year term in the Senate. Brecheen is a Coalgate rancher and former field representative for U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn. Senate District 6 includes all of Bryan, Marshall and Johnston counties, most of Coal County and a portion of Atoka County.

 

Jefferson County
In the Associate District Judge race, challenger Dennis Gay (with 51.6 percent of the vote) defeated incumbent Jon Tom Stanton.

 

Republican Jason Hicks defeated Democrat incumbent Bret Burns in the district attorney race.

 

Many elected officials were able to avoid both the primary and general elections. In Carter County, Commissioners Bill McLaughlin and Dale Ott, Assessor Kim Cain, Treasurer LaDonna Wilkinson and Associate District Judge Lee Card, all incumbents, were automatically re-elected after they failed to draw any opposition.

 

State Reps. Pat Ownbey, Paul Roan and Corey Holland each won another two-year term when no one filed to run against them.

 

District Attorney Craig Ladd, who serves the 20th District which includes Carter, Johnston, Love, Marshall and Murray counties, was unopposed as was Wallace Coppedge, who will replace District Judge John Scaggs, who is retiring.

 

The incumbent associate district judges in Marshall, Love and Johnston counties were all unopposed, and newcomer Aaron Duck will become Murray County’s new associate district judge without having to campaign.