The Oklahoma voters produced some big surprises in the June 28th Republican primary. A State Senator and two House members were rejected by their own constituents. In the Senate, Jake Merrick lost his bid for his first full term after winning a special election 15 months ago, to complete Stephanie Bice's term for SD22, when she departed to join congress as our 5th District member. Kristen Thompson will be the party nominee in the November general election.
Two of Tulsa's delegation to the Oklahoma House of Representatives were handed defeats by challengers. In a district straddling Tulsa and Okmulgee County, Logan Phillips lost to Chris Banning by a 25% margin. Phillips was first elected in 2018, raising no campaign funds in the pursuit. He was reelected in 2020.
Wendi Stearman lost a close race in HD11 which straddles northern Tulsa County and half of Washington County. The seat has historically been a Bartlesville claim, and a Bartlesville businessman defeated her with a significant edge in Bartlesville precincts. Stearman was a freshman legislator & rose quickly in leadership while getting some landmark bills pased into law.
All 3 districts were significantly changed since the last election cycle, and the incumbents were pushed to quickly connect with the new voters after the session adjourned on Memorial weekend. Several challengers were on the ground campaigning for 6 weeks while the incumbents were off in OKC, fulfilling official duties.