Election 2016: Three races to watch on Election Day – and much more

The municipal primaries — both for mayor and City Council — are nonpartisan. That means voters can vote for whomever they want, regardless of their party affiliation.

City Councilor G.T. Bynum, and Mayor Dewey Bartlett face off during a recent political forum. KEVIN CANFIELD/The Frontier
City Councilor G.T. Bynum and Mayor Dewey Bartlett are expected to be the major vote-getters in Tuesday’s nonpartisan primary for mayor. KEVIN CANFIELD/The Frontier

Tulsa County Election Board Secretary Patty Bryant said something shocking Friday.

“We’re expecting less than 20 percent turnout of the 330,000 registered voters” in the county, Bryant said.

Those are paltry numbers given all that is at stake. Tulsa County residents have big decisions to make.

Who should run the city of Tulsa? Has the Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado earned a shot at running for a full four-year term? Will former City Councilor Skip Steele be able to wrested the District 6 seat from one-term incumbent Connie Dodson?

The mayoral primary is expected to come down to incumbent Mayor Dewey Bartlett and City Councilor G.T. Bynum. Both are Republicans. Both come from families with long histories in Oklahoma politics, and neither has been able to break through as the odds-on favorite  at least according to the polls.

Dodson defeated Steele in 2014. She’s also facing another challenger, Allen Branch, which could dilute the vote and make the results closer than one might expect.

The  municipal primaries – both for mayor and City Council   are nonpartisan. That means voters can vote for whomever they want, regardless of their party affiliation.

In the mayoral and council primaries, if one candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, that person wins the election, with no need for further votes. Should no candidate receive more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates will face each other in the Nov. 8 general election.

The county elections are partisan primaries, meaning only Republicans can vote in the Republican primary and only Democrats can vote in the Democratic primary. The winners on Tuesday will face off in the November general election.

Regalado’s challenge is to fend off Luke Sherman in the Republican primary. He beat Sherman handily in the April 5 special election for mayor. But Sherman has regrouped and raised a lot to money for his primary challenge.

The winner of that race will face the winner of the Democratic primary for sheriff. The candidates in that race are Author Jackson and Rex Berry.

All winners in this year’s county elections  whether they win on Tuesday or in November — will serve four-year terms. The mayor of Tulsa is elected to a four-year term. City councilors and the city auditor serve two-year terms.

The polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. There will be no voting at the Tulsa County Election Board. Voters should bring a government-issued ID. Registered voters who do not have a government-issed ID can fill out a provisional ballot.

For a list of polling stations and to view sample ballots, go to https://www.ok.gov/elections/Voter_Info/Online_Voter_Tool/index.html

Mayor of Tulsa 

Dewey Bartlett (I)
Age:69
Occupation: Tulsa mayor

G.T. Bynum
Age:38
Occupation: Federal government relations consultant, Capital Ventures

Lawrence Kirkpatrick
Age:70
Occupation: N/A

Tom McCay
Age:54
Occupation: Jeweler

Paul Tay

Age:53

Occupation: Property management

City Council 

District 1

Jack Henderson (I)
Age:65
Occupation: Retired, AT&T

Vanessa Hall Harper
Age:44
Occupation: Child health and policy manager, Tulsa Health Department

District 2

Jeannie Cue (I)
Age:62
Occupation: Retired nurse

Aaron Bisogno
Age:29
Occupation: N/A

District 3

David Patrick (I)
Age:64
Occupation: Owner, Patrick’s Auto Service

Jim Rice
Age:61
Occupation: N/A

Araceli Tiger
Age: 35
Occupation: Floor supervisor and Blackjack dealer for Osage Casino Tulsa

District 4

Blake Ewing (I)
Age:37
Occupation: Business owner

Sam Walker
Age:24
Occupation: N/A

Michael Haskins
Age:27
Occupation: N/A

Josh Starks
Age:39
Occupation: N/A

District 5

Karen Gilbert (I)
Age:47
Occupation: Parent facilitator, Wright Elementary School

District 6

Connie Dodson (I)
Age:48
Occupation: Photographer, owner of Connie Palmer Photography

Skip Steele
Age:66
Occupation: Owner, All Hours Computer Service (former city councilor)

Allen Branch
Age:33
Occupation: N/A

District 7

Anna America (I)
Age:52
Occupation: City councilor

District 8

Phil Lakin (I)
Age:48
Occupation: CEO of Tulsa Community Foundation

District 9 (Open Seat)

Ben Kimbro
Age:43
Occupation: Ross Group, Governor’s UAS Advisory

Eric McCray
Age:35
Occupation: N/A

City Auditor 

Cathy Criswell (I)
Age:61

Occupation: City auditor

Tulsa County Sheriff/Republican primary

Russell Crow
Age:57
Occupation: Law enforcement

Vic Regalado (I)
Age:45
Occupation: Tulsa County sheriff

Luke Sherman
Age:46
Occupation: National Tactical Officer’s Association, regional director and senior instructor

Tulsa County Sheriff/Democratic Primary

Arthur Jackson
Age:74

Occupation: N/A

Rex Berry
Age:66
Occupation: Retired Tulsa police officer

Tulsa County Commission, District 2, Republican Primary

Josh R. Turley
Age:43
Occupation: Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office

Jonathan Grable
Age:32
Occupation: N/A

Tulsa County Commission, District 2, Democratic Primary

Karen Keith (I)
Age:62

Occupation: County commissioner

Deanna Vincent
Age:43

Tulsa County Clerk, Republican Primary

Nancy Rothman
Age:58
Occupation: Chief Deputy, Tulsa County Clerk

Michael Willis
Age:35
Occupation: Chief Deputy County Commissioner and Public Information Officer at Tulsa County

Tulsa County Court Clerk, Republican Primary

Donald Newberry
Age:49
Occupation: Title Research Manager at Tulsa
County Assessor’s Office

Ron Phillips
Age:47
Occupation: Director, Special Projects at Tulsa County Court Clerk

Mary Atkinson
Age:70

Occupation: N/A

I – Incumbent