Monday, February 6, 2023

Executive News: Elections are (well, almost) over

Election day has finally arrived and the people have spoken. As this issue of Oklahoma Banker goes to press, however, we still don’t know the results of numerous federal elections and who will control the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House. By the time this issue hits your mailboxes, though, you might!

Adrian Beverage, OBA President and CEO

We do have all the results of the races in Oklahoma. I will tell myself the same thing I seem to say every major election: don’t trust the polls. Tuesday night was no different, especially at the state level where the results were nowhere close to what some of the pre-election polls were saying. It was especially true in two of the major state-level races where polls were all over the place in the weeks leading up to Nov. 8.
Lets take a look at the statewide races that garnered the most attention.

Governor
Kevin Stitt (R) — 638,910 (55.5%)
Joy Hofmeister (D) — 481,396 (41.8%)
Natalie Bruno (L) — 16,218 (1.4%)
Ervin Yen (I) — 15,638 (1.4%)

We all felt that this was going to be a very close race. Early polling had Hofmeister with a significant lead, and the closer we got to election day, the polls were telling us that the race was very close.
Some felt that Bruno andn Yen would play a key role and possibly take a significant number of votes away from the top two candidates. That didn’t pan out and, at the end of the day, this wasn’t a close race at all.

When the polls closed and the Oklahoma State Election Board released their absentee and early-voting totals I thought we would be in for a close race as Hofmeister had a lead of 14,467 votes.

As the night went on and precinct totals were reported, you could see Gov. Stitt was gaining ground and eventually taking the lead. There was still a little drama as Oklahoma County, Tulsa County and Cleveland County hadn’t yet reported. The governor hadn’t done as well in those as other counties in 2018, and I was anxious to see how he did this election. The governor did lose all three of the aforementioned counties, but the difference in Tulsa and Cleveland counties, in particularly, weren’t that bad and it helped propel him to victory.

Lieutenant Governor
Matt Pinnell (R) — 743,351 (64.9%)
Melinda Alizadeh-Fard (D) — 355,362 (31%)
Chris Powell (L) — 47,167 (4.1%)

Attorney General
Gentner Drummond (R) – 791,763 (73.8%)
Lynda Steele (L) – 281,608 (26.2%)

State Treasurer
Todd Russ (R) — 737,887 (64.8%)
Charles De Coune (D) — 349,507 (30.7%)
Gregory Sadler (L) — 51,781 (4.6%)

Superintendent of Public Instruction
Ryan Walters (R) — 649,710 (56.8%)
Jena Nelson (D) — 494,514 (43.2%)

Labor Commissioner
Leslie Osborn (R) — 744,368 (65.7%)
Jack Henderson (D) — 333,364 (29.3%)

U.S. Senator
James Lankford (R) — 739,298 (64.3%)
Madison Horn (D) — 368.979 (32.1%)
Michael Delaney (I) — 20,869 (1.8%)
Kenneth Blevins (L) — 20,467 (1.8%)

U.S. Senator (unexpired term)
Markwayne Mullin (R) — 710,004 (61.8%)
Kendra Horn (D) — 404,951 (35.2%)
Robert Murphy (L) — 17,368 (1.5%)
Ray Woods (I) — 17,037 (1.5%)

Congressional District 1
Kevin Hern (R) — 142,620 (61.2%)
Adam Martin (D) — 80,835 (34.7)
Evelyn Rogers (I) — 9,693 (4.2%)

Congressional District 2
Josh Brecheen (R) — 167,687 (72.5%)
Naomi Andrews (D) — 54,149 (23.4%)
Bulldog Ben Robinson (I) — 9,623 (4.2%)

Congressional District 3
Frank Lucas (R) — 147,302 (74.5%)
Jeremiah Ross (D) — 50,320 (25.5%)

Congressional District 4
Tom Cole (R) — 149,777 (66.8%)
Mary Brannon (D) — 74,598 (33.3%)

Congressional District 5
Stephanie Bice (R) — 152,567 (59%)
Joshua Harris-Till (D) — 96,709 (37.4%)
David Frosch (I) — 9,318 (3.6%)

As you can see, the majority of the statewide and federal elections went exactly how we thought they would. All of the congressional districts were easily won by their respective Republican candidate.

We will have one new face in the Oklahoma delegation, Josh Brecheen, who will be the new representative for the 2nd Congressional district. We have worked with Josh in the past when he was a member of the Oklahoma State Senate. Josh is supportive of community banking and I don’t see any reason he wouldn’t continue to be while in Washington.

• • •
The state races were easy to report on because of our voting system here in Oklahoma: All ballots will be reported and counted on election night. Therefore, we knew the results quickly after the polls closed.
Unfortunately, not all states have the same system or counting rules in place. At the time we went to press, there are still a lot of undecided U.S. Senate and U.S. House races that are undecided.

What we do know is the “red wave” that was predicted by many on both sides didn’t happen. The Republicans can still – and will most likely – take the House, but the Senate looks like a much tougher challenge, one that could continue on for even another month if we have runoffs. The Senate race in Georgia is extremely close and if either candidate doesn’t get 50% of the vote they will go to a runoff on Dec. 6.

We will continue to keep you updated via Banker Directs and the OBA Update as information is posted, particularly in which way both the House and the Senate falls.

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or comments.