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June 24, 2014

Oklahoma Gov. Fallin coasts to GOP primary victory

Oklahoma City —    Gov. Mary Fallin easily won the Republican primary Tuesday in her bid for a second term as Oklahoma's chief executive.

   Fallin faced two pro-marijuana challengers in the primary, Chad Moody and Dax Ewbank. Both candidates have said they support the full legalization of cannabis.

   Meanwhile, term-limited state Rep. Joe Dorman was unopposed for the Democratic nomination. Primary election winners will face each other and three independent candidates in the general election.

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   First-term Incumbent Superintendent of Education Janet Barresi, who was the driving force behind the state's A-F grading scale for the performance of public schools, was defeated in the Republican primary election by former state Board of Education member Joy Hofmeister.

   Hofmeister secured the Republican nomination over Barresi and a third candidate, Brian Kelly. Hofmeister described the A-F system as "not meaningful, useful or reliable."

   In the Democratic primary for the seat, John Cox and Freda Deskin will meet each other in an Aug. 26 runoff election Four Democrats sought the party's nomination, including Jack Herron Jr. and Ivan Holmes.

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   Former Oklahoma House Speaker Todd Hiett won the winner-take-all Republican primary over state term-limited Sen. Cliff Branan for the statewide seat on the Corporation Commission being vacated by Patrice Douglas, who was cast into a runoff election for the open 5th Congressional District seat.

   Hiett, who became the first GOP House speaker in 80 years when Republicans took over the House in 2004, and Branan were seeking a six-year term on the commission, which oversees oil and gas production, public utilities, pipelines, trucking and railroads. No Democrat or independent candidates filed to run for the seat.

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   Republican John Doak was elected to a second term as Oklahoma's insurance commissioner.

   Doak won another four-year term in the winner-take-all GOP primary contest. Doak defeated longtime insurance agent Bill Viner. No Democrats or independents ran for the position.

   Several statewide elected officials in Oklahoma drew no opponent this cycle, including Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones, Attorney General Scott Pruitt and Treasurer Ken Miller. Races for lieutenant governor and commissioner of labor will be decided in November's general election.

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