Oklahoma: Republican Runoff Likely in Fallin’s District

Posted July 26, 2010 at 7:10pm

With seven Republicans vying for the opportunity to compete for the seat that Rep. Mary Fallin is giving up, a runoff looks likely after today’s 5th district primary.

College professor James Lankford, former state Rep. Kevin Calvey and state Rep. Mike Thompson are viewed as the top GOP contenders in the Oklahoma City-based district, state Republican Party Chairman and Executive Director Matt Pinnell said Monday.

Running for the Democratic nomination are Billy Coyle, a criminal defense attorney, and Tom Guild, a retired college professor.

Fallin is leaving Congress after just two terms to run for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

The gubernatorial race could influence the outcomes of contests lower on the ballot by motivating voters.

“When you have an office that’s that high profile, it tends to drive turnout up in a primary election,” Paul Ziriax, secretary of the state Election Board, told the Associated Press.

Among the other primaries, Sen. Tom Coburn (R) is expected to win renomination over two nominal challengers and three House incumbents — Reps. John Sullivan (R), Tom Cole (R) and Dan Boren (D) — are expected to be renominated.

If any of the candidates fail to win a majority of the primary vote, the top two vote-getters will face off in an Aug. 24 runoff to choose the nominees for November’s general election.

The primaries are open only to registered members of each political party.