A large outpour of candidates running for state and federal government posts is expected this week at the Oklahoma State Election Board at the Oklahoma State Capitol.
Every House of Representatives seat and roughly half of state Senate seats are up for grabs, according to the election board.
U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Edmond, filed to run for a full term in the United States Senate on Friday.
“I want to continue my mission to bring common sense and practical solutions at this critical time in our nation,” Lankford said. “There are no easy answers to the issues we face, but we must confront the reality of our debt, our overregulation and the stagnant economy that hurts every Oklahoma family.”
Two Democrats, Steve Perry, 63, of Oklahoma City, filed for the Senate seat along with Mike Workman, 65, of Tulsa, in their bid to upset Lankford’s ambition for re-election.
Guthrie Libertarian Dax Ewbank, 40, also filed for U.S. Senate along with Norman Libertarian Robert T. Murphey. Independent candidate Sean Braddy, 44, of Norman, will run against Lankford.
Registered voters will also choose who will represent their best interests in the Congressional 5th District race. Incumbent Republican Congressman Steve Russell, 51, of Choctaw, formally declared his re-election bid Wednesday.
Russell said he will fight to secure conservative values in Congress, lower the national debt and protect U.S. borders from illegal immigration.
Former State Sen. Al McAffrey, 67, D-Oklahoma City, filed for the Democratic primary nomination. Edmond Democrat Tom Guild, 61, also filed for the 5th District race.
“So many of our citizens haven’t kept pace with the economic recovery, and that is why I will press for an increase in the minimum wage,” Guild said.
He also pledged to work for solutions to ease the debt burden that makes life difficult for college students. Other priorities include increased investment in vital infrastructure.
Guild and McAffrey will face Leona Leonard, 45, D-Seminole, who posted her candidacy for Congress.
State Senate District 41 will be an open seat this year with the departure of state Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, due to term limits.
Edmond Democrat Kevin McDonald, 41, filed for the Senate District 41 Wednesday. The 2015-16 District Teacher of the Year said he intends to file legislation to fund education effectively.
“We quite often see pieces of legislation that in ideology aren’t necessarily problematic but there’s not full funding for them,” McDonald said.
Three Edmond Republicans also filed for Senate District 41 including Jeff Tallent, 70, and Adam Pugh, 38, and Paul Blair, 53. Edmond Libertarian Richard Prawdzienski, 68, is vying for Senate District 41.
“As a conservative I’ve always believed that government is best from the bottom up,” Pugh said.
Senate District 47 incumbent Greg Treat, 37, R-Edmond, made his official bid for re-election for Senate District 47. Treat will face Oklahoma City Republican Steven Webber, 30.
“Oklahomans deserve a government that defends life, spends their tax dollars wisely, that doesn’t get in the way of business and entrepreneurs, and that ensures core services like education, health care and public safety are adequately funded,” Treat said.
Veteran broadcast journalist, communications executive and video producer Don Sherry, also filed Wednesday as a Democratic candidate for Senate District 47. Sherry will face Oklahoma City Democrat Judy Mullen Hopper, 62.
“We face an enormous budget shortfall,” said Sherry, 64. “Our elected officials have slashed education. They have cut health and mental services, and aid to our friends and neighbors who are struggling. Our infrastructure is crumbling.”
State Rep. Jason Murphey, 38, R-Guthrie, said he plans to file for the House District 31 office Thursday or Friday.
“We look forward to the next two years,” Murphey said. “I look forward to repealing laws — old laws that we had a lot of success on last year — we’ll certainly continue that effort.”
He plans to restore fiscal discipline in the House by making it more transparent and responsible to the citizenry. Murphey will continue to work for the House rules to be changed to take away some power from the Speaker in favor of House members.
One Democrat, John B. Tiller, 60, of Guthrie, also filed for House District 31.
Republican Michael Buoy, 40, of Edmond, filed for House District 39, an office being vacated by State Rep. Marian Cooksey, R-Edmond.
“I think we need to get back to where small businesses are not regulated as much as they are now,” Buoy said.
House District 39 House candidate Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond, said he wants more dollars for education earmarked for the classroom. A highly-trained and motivated teacher is the most valuable asset for a student in a classroom, Martinez said.
“It’s hard to be a teacher when you know you’re having a hard time making ends meet,” he explained. “I’m committed to finding creative ways to making sure teachers are paid the salary the deserve.
House District 96 candidate Lewis Moore, 57, R-Edmond, filed for his re-election bid on Thursday. However, Moore faces two Republican challengers this year, including Amber Polach, 33, of Luther, and Phillip Arnold, 40, of Harrah.
Edmond Democrat Lyle Waters, 37, has officially entered the race for House District 81, a seat currently held by Republican state Rep. Randy Grau, of Edmond, who announced Friday that he will not seek a fourth term.
Edmond Democrat Dan Myers, 35, filed for House District 81 on Thursday. He will face 37-year-old Lyle Walters in the state primary election. One Republican, Mike Osburn, 48, filed for House District 81 Friday as well as Edmond Libertarian Steve Long, 44.
Democrat Candidate Misty Warfield, 30, of Oklahoma City, is among four candidates for House District 82, a seat held by state Rep. Kevin Calvey, 49, R-Oklahoma City.
Republican challenger Christopher Crawford, 24, R-Edmond, and Robert M. Jernigan Jr., 42, R-Edmond, will face Calvey in the state Republican primary election. Independent candidate David Dickerson, 50, of Edmond, will be a contender for District 82 in the Nov. 8 general election.
Incumbent state Rep. Randy McDaniel, 48, R-Edmond, was the only Republican candidate filing for House District 83 on Tuesday. Democratic contender Jason Stone, 43, of Edmond, filed Friday for the House seat along with Donna Compton, 69, Oklahoma City.
For Corporation Commissioner, incumbent Commissioner Dana Murphy, 56, R-Edmond, filed for re-election. One Democrat, state Sen. Richard Morrissette, 59, of Oklahoma City, also filed for the office.
June 28 will be the statewide primary election. Aug. 23 is set for the runoff primary election. The general election will be Nov. 8.