Sparks fly in run-off election

Saturday, 09 August 2008
Voters in Oklahoma Senate District 35 and House District 72 face a fast approaching run-off and while some former opponents have become friends; others are turning up the rhetorical heat targeting the Tuesday August, 26 contests.  Much quieter Special Municipal Elections for the City of Jenks and City of Owasso will also be held that day in Tulsa County.  Welcome summer politics in Oklahoma.

Cason Carter, the Republican candidate for Senate District 35 that led the primary election field with 45% of the vote recently added third place finisher, Jeff Applekamp, to his list of supporters.  They are not at all happy with fellow Republican Gary Stanislawski who opposes Carter in the hotly contested seat held by Senator Jim Williamson.

"I’m very pleased to endorse Cason Carter," said Applekamp.  "During a stressful campaign, you can find out a lot about a candidate’s personal integrity, and Cason passed every test with flying colors.  I witnessed Cason being truthful and forthright with voters and never heard of him or his campaign uttering an untrue or negative word."

"I believe that Gary Stanislawski intentionally tried to deceive the voters on multiple occasions.  The most egregious example was his blatant attempt during the waning hours of the campaign to insinuate that Senator Jim Inhofe was supporting him — something that could not be further from the truth.  The fact is Stanislawski’s use of a photo of him with Senator Inhofe prompted Senator Inhofe to issue a statement to deny he had endorsed him. Many voters, however, already had the image in their mind and are just now finding out that this was a hoax perpetuated by Stanislawski," Applekamp said.

Stanislawski campaign manger Josh McFarland answered, “The picture was taken at the State Republican Convention this year and Senator Inhofe said at that time we could use the photograph, but that he was not endorsing anyone in a primary election.  We were very clear in the mailing that both Billy Joe Daugherty and Senator Inhofe do not and were not endorsing the campaign, but as individuals they know and respect Gary Stanislawski.”

Applekamp also said, “It didn’t end with this.  He ran a radio ad calling me a “lifetime bureaucrat” but I’ve always worked in the private sector, never receiving a government paycheck.  It’s clear that Stanislawski plays fast and loose with the truth,” Applekamp added.

McFarlin said, “We have moved beyond the primary and wish Applekamp the best, but he worked as a lobbyist.  He campaigns on and brags about that experience working with government.  Ok, so Public Service Company of Oklahoma is a private company, but they sent him to the Legislature to become an insider or friend of the system as a paid lobbyist and we need elected officials that are not lobbyists or trial lawyers.”

Cason Carter said, "I am very happy to have the support and help of Jeff Applekamp.  I have known Jeff for quite some time, and he is an active part of the fabric of Tulsa and the Republican Party.  He ran a positive campaign and proven he is a man of character who understands the issues.  I am grateful to Jeff for his support and glad to add such a quality person to our campaign team.”

What was once a five-way District 72 primary battle for retiring Rep. Darrell Gilbert’s seat is now a contest between Democrats Seneca Scott and Christie Breedlove also to be decided August 26.

Scott, who captured 42 percent of the vote, said, "At the end of the day, folks don’t care which party wins, they just want policy issues fixed to help the people of the district.  Issues in District 72 include street repair, home ownership, and the reduction of crime.”

Scott is active in the Oklahoma Sustainability Network, a grass-roots initiative that works on energy conservation and local food production such as farmer’s markets.  He has been endorsed by John Slater and Wilbert Collins both prominent Democrats in the heavily Democrat registered district.

Breedlove works for a pipeline company and has been active as a campaign worker in other races for several election cycles.  She is a leader in an Oklahoma women’s Democrat group.  Breedlove, who had 29 percent of the votes, said she had expected all along to be headed into a runoff.

The winner in the District 72 runoff will face Lawrence Kirkpatrick, a frequent independent candidate who has never won a race.

County Election Board Secretary Patty Bryant said voters in Tulsa County who want to have absentee ballots mailed to them for the State Runoff Primary Election for Senate District 35 and House District 72 and Special Municipal Elections for the City of Jenks and City of Owasso to be held August 26, should apply now.  Although the County Election Board can accept applications for absentee ballots until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, August 20, Bryant urged voters who want to vote by absentee ballot to apply early.  Absentee ballot application forms are available at the County Election Board office located at 555 N. Denver.  A letter may be mailed or faxed requesting a ballot, or a form letter may be downloaded from the Tulsa County Election Board Webpage (, click Departments/Divisions, click Election Board).

"At least two mail transactions must be made," Bryant said.  "The County Election Board must mail the ballots to the voter, and the voter must return the voted ballots by mail."   Ballots must be in the hands of the County Election Board by 7 p.m. on election day in order to be counted.

Bryant said that any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot in any election in which he or she is eligible to vote.  However, a voter must be registered and reside at an address within the geographical boundaries of the district to be eligible to vote.
Last Updated ( Saturday, 09 August 2008 )