Cheers rose up across the room at a watch party as results from Tuesday’s Primary Election streamed in and were read aloud.
Hugs were given and tears were nearly shed at a watch party for winning Republican candidate for Carter County Sheriff, Chris Bryant.
“It is absolutely gut-wrenching and mind boggling to run for political office,” Bryant told the crowd after results came in, showing he won.
Hugging his wife and children, Bryant said, “these are my rocks.” He also thanked members of his campaign team and all the supporters and people who voted Tuesday.
“It was a team effort,” he said. “There were so many people involved in this.”
If Bryant wins the General Election in November against incumbent Milton Anthony, who is currently facing felony charges, he will be the first Republican sheriff in Carter County history, he said, adding that he double-checked and triple-checked to see if that was correct.
“I’m going to be honored to serve as your next Carter County Sheriff,” he said.
Bryant received nearly 65 percent of the vote while his opponent, Matt Bell, received about 35 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results from the Oklahoma State Election Board.
Bell said Tuesday night he still sees this as a victory because he has grown in his faith throughout the process.
“One of the things I have asked is that everyone will pray for their sheriff, that he will be guided by God these next four years. He’s going to need the prayer of the people to make a change,” Bell said.
Renee Burkhart Bryant secured the Carter County Court Clerk office Tuesday since there was no Republican opponent. Burkhart Bryant said she was thankful to be mentored by former court clerk Karen Dunn and will continue the professionalism in the office.
“Karen’s run the office very well,” she said. “I want everyone to know I’m going to have an open door policy. If anyone ever needs anything, they can come to me.”
She said she also wanted to thank all of her supporters and residents of Carter County who took the time to vote.
“It’s been very humbling,” she said.
Burkhart Bryant won the primary and the office with over 78 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results. Her Democratic opponent, Kyle Lee Lawson, received about 21 percent of the vote.
Lawson, who is mayor of Gene Autry, said the experience has been extraordinary and one he is extremely grateful for, but he said his journey isn’t over yet.
“I will continue to serve in my capacity as mayor. We have built strong relationships throughout the county and we will use those relationships to improve this community,” Lawson said.
“There is a lot of work to be done in our local community, our county, our state and our nation, I will be among those carrying a torch blazing a trail in the name of progress.”
The race for Carter County Commissioner District 2 resulted in a victory for Republican candidate Bill Baker and Democratic candidate Trenton McGee who will face each other in the General Election.
Baker received over 69 percent of the vote from the Republican party, while opponent Hoss Burris received about 30 percent of the vote, unofficial results show. Burris could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
“I’m extremely humbled with the number of people who put their confidence in me,” Baker said.
Now he and his team are looking ahead and starting to plan their campaign for the General Election.
“We’re just excited,” he said. “We’re ready to go.”
McGee received about 67 percent of the vote from the Democrat party, while opponent Carl Taylor received over 32 percent of the vote.
“I’m excited. Ready for the next go-around,” McGee said. “I ran a very honest campaign. I stayed true to what I know.”
Taylor said he didn’t take the news too hard and running for office was a very good learning experience.
“I’d never been in politics and I don’t care to ever go back into it again,” Taylor said. “I appreciate the people that got out there who voted, and not just for me, because it was an interesting election this year.”
Taylor said he looks forward to seeing how the race will unfold between McGee and Baker now.
Overall, nearly all of the candidates, whether they won or lost, said they appreciated every single person who voted Tuesday.