By Patrick B. McGuigan
Tuesday, the fondest dreams of Republicans and the worst nightmares of Democrats came true in Oklahoma.
The day began with Democrats holding eight of the 11 statewide elected non-federal positions. It ended with Republicans elected in all 11 statewide posts, along with six-seat GOP gains in both the state House and the state Senate.
A walk through the final but unofficial results (not including provisional ballots) illustrates the extent of the Republican triumph and the Democratic carnage. This story incorporates results from all 2,229 precincts in Oklahoma.
U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin gained a dominant victory in the governor’s race, more or less fulfilling the final pre-election polls. She defeated Lt. Gov. Jari Askins, 625,433 (60.45%) to 409,206 (39.55%). Fallin will become Oklahoma’s first female chief executive in January.
The battle for what some consider the state’s second most powerful job, the Attorney General’s race between Republican Scott Pruitt and Democrat Jim Priest was once considered a close call. It was not. Pruitt has 666,327 (65.11%) to 357,114 (34.89%) for Priest.
The closest race of the night was not really all that close. Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland, the Democrat, gained 45.52% support (464,247) but lost to Tulsa insurance agent John Doak, who had 555,677, 54.48%.
In the lieutenant governor’s race to replace Askins, Republican state Sen. Todd Lamb crushed state Sen. Kenneth Corn, the Democrat. Lamb had 659,175 (64.03%) to Corn’s 334,663 (32.51%). An independent gained 3.46% (35,652 votes).
In the race for state Auditor & Inspector, Gary Jones found that his third time was a charm. He defeated appointed incumbent Democrat Steve Burrage, 570,104 (55.94%) to 449,095 (44.06%). Jones ran twice previously, losing narrowly.
For Commissioner of Labor, Businessman Mark Costello, the GOP nominee, gained 649,672 (64.17%) backing to only 362,753 (35.83%) for incumbent Democrat Lloyd Fields.
For Treasurer, State Rep. Ken Miller easily dispatched the Democratic nominee, Steven Covert, 675,438 (66.57%) to 339,224 (33.43%).
In the crucial contest for Superintendent of Public Instruction, charter school founder and reformer Janet Barresi, the Republican, won a strong majority with 573,652 (55.92%) to just 386,958 (37.72% for state Sen. Susan Paddack, Democrat. Independent Richard E. Cooper had 6.36% backing.
In combination with the Republican gains in the state House and state Senate, and the 4-1 edge in the U.S. House delegation, in conjunction with both U.S. Senators, the GOP now dominates state politics from Guymon to Idabel, and from Lawton to Miami.