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Candidates file for local, state posts

Area races for state and U.S. representative, district judge and three Osage County offices are anticipated as a result of candidate declarations made during the three-day statewide filing period that ended Friday.

Final certification of candidates remained unofficial at press time, but there apparently will be plenty of reasons for voters to go to the polls in 2014 — despite the fact that it is an off-year for a U.S. presidential election.

General election races appear to be on tap for Osage County Assessor and two of the tree seats on the County Commission. The incumbent Osage County Treasurer, Sally Hulse, is facing no opposition in her re-election bid. Hulse, a local Democrat who had been the office’s former first deputy, gained appointment to the position last year following the retirement of longtime treasurer Joyce Hathcoat.

The current Osage County Assessor, Gail Hedgecoth Shirley, will be challenged in the November election by Raymond Leach, a Republican from Hominy.

District One County Commission member Bob Jackson, a Shidler Democrat, will have a Republican opponent for the general election — Randall Jones of Pawhuska.

The current District Three County Commissioner, Fairfax Democrat Darren McKinney, will face John Blakney, a Republican from Skiatook, in November. McKinney won election for the final two years of the seat that was left vacant when longtime Commissioner Jim Clark retired at the end of 2012. Blakney finished second in in that special election.

State voters will be filling both of its U.S. Senate positions and four of five congressional seats. Seven Republican hopefuls, three Democrats and an Independent will contend for the Senate seat being vacated by Tom Coburn.

At age 79, incumbent Sen. Jim Inhofe is seeking a fourth six-year term in the upper house after serving four full stints in the U.S. House. Eight Inhofe challengers, including four fellow Republicans, made public their bids last week.

Oklahoma Third District Congressman Frank Lucas drew three challengers in his bid for a ninth term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Lucas, a 54-year-old Republican from Cheyenne will face Robert Hubbard, 69, of Yukon and 47-year-old Moore resident Timothy Ray Murray in the June 24 primary. The winner of the GOP primary — or, if needed, an Aug. 26 runoff — advances to the general election to meet Frankie Robbins, 68, a Democrat from Medford.

Eddie Fields of Wynona, a 47-year-old Republican, advanced unchallenged to a second term in the Oklahoma Senate District 10 seat.

Another District 10 incumbent, District Judge John Kane of Pawhuska, will be opposed by Phil Best of Skiatook in the Nov. 4 general election.

The incumbent Associate District Judge, Bruce Gambill, was unopposed in his bid for re-election.

Rex Duncan drew no opposition and earned a second term as District Attorney for Oklahoma’s District 10, which covers Osage and Pawnee counties. The 53-year-old Republican from Sand Springs had previously served in the state legislature.

Incumbent 11th District Judge Curtis DeLapp drew an opponent, Marty Meason. Both are from Bartlevsille. District 11 District Attorney Kevin Buchannan of Bartlesville will not be challenged for re-election.

Three Bartlesville candidates declared for the District 10 State Representative seat that is being vacated by Steve Martin. They include Republicans Travis Dunlap and Randy Barnett, plus Democrat Anthony Tucker.

Bartlesville incumbent Earl Sears will not face a challenge for re-election as District 11 state representative. Carl Gibson of Nowata and Russell Vaclaw from Pawhuska were unopposed for their respective counties’ Associate District Judge Positions.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin is being challenged by three other Republicans, three Independent candidates and a Democrat in her bid for a second term. The gubernatorial race heads up what could be a highly contentiouss ballot for state officials.

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