Candidate Filing Begins Campaign Season

Last Friday (April 15), the filing period for the 2022 elections ended after three days. In total, 569 candidates placed their names on the ballot for a variety of state offices. This was the fewest number of candidates seeking state office since at least the 2000 election cycle.

It is important for voters to remember these upcoming dates: the party primary elections for determining the party nominee will be June 28; primary runoff elections for the top two candidates should one not receive a majority vote will be August 23; the General Election will be November 8.

This is a unique election year because both of Oklahoma’s United States Senate seats will be up for election at the same time. Normally, U.S. Senate races are staggered with six-year terms, meaning one seat will be upon one cycle, then the next seat will be up two years later, then the next cycle two years later would not have a race.

With the retirement of Senator Jim Inhofe before his term is complete, a new state law allows a sitting federal lawmaker like the senator to file an irrevocable letter announcing the date for retirement. This ensures that despite the resignation, Oklahoma would not have a vacant seat in the U.S. Senate. A crowded field of 13 Republicans and one Democrat are seeking the seat.

The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy thanks Senator Inhofe for his years of service to the state and for the work he did with constituent services to help individual Oklahomans. His shoes will be exceedingly difficult to fill.

With the chain of events sparked by this open seat, there were 14 Republicans who filed for the vacant Second Congressional District, along with one Democrat and one Independent. This seat covers virtually all of eastern Oklahoma and is primarily rural.

All five Oklahoma Congressional Districts will see elections this year.

With the statewide offices up during this cycle, only two spots, the State Superintendent for Public Instruction and one Corporation Commissioner, have an official who is no longer eligible due to term limits.

All the other statewide offices drew opponents other than State Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready. Congratulations to him for automatically winning a second term with no opposition.

For those who the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) works with the most, our state senators and representatives, 55 state representatives and senators won without opposition. Among those automatic winners are 37 House Republicans, eight House Democrats, five Senate Republicans, and three Senate Democrats.

In addition to the 53 incumbents with no opposition, there are two newcomers who were elected in their first race for office: Jerry Alvord in Senate District 14 and Mark Tedford in House District 69.

Congratulations to all of these officials who will be serving. OICA looks forward to working with each of you over.

For those candidates who do have races, I strongly encourage every Oklahoman to register if you are not registered. For voters who have moved, changed their name, or regained their voting status, please register. Please make your voice heard by voting in the party primaries, the primary run-off elections, and finally the General Election in November.

Our system of government relies on voters selecting the best choice of the candidates to represent their views in the halls of government.

If you are uncertain about your voting status, please go to to verify your registration or to download the form to submit your information.

About OICA: The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy was established in 1983 by a group of citizens seeking to create a strong advocacy network that would provide a voice for the needs of children and youth in Oklahoma, particularly those in the state’s care and those growing up amid poverty, violence, abuse and neglect, disparities, or other situations that put their lives and future at risk. Our mission statement: “Creating awareness, taking action, and changing policy to improve the health, safety, and well-being of Oklahoma’s children.”