Day 3: Bachmann, Huntsman join state GOP presidential race, Obama draws three foes, candidate field expands dramatically in state House District 71, it’s McAffrey vs. Reese in state Senate 46

On the last day of candidate filing for Oklahoma’s March 6 presidential primary, President Barack Obama drew three primary opponents. U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota and former U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman joined the Republican race, bringing the Grand Old Party’s field to seven hopefuls.

Meanwhile, five Republicans and one Democrat joined the cast of characters in the state House district 71 race. A total of seven Republicans and two Democrats will contend in a Feb. 14 primary and an April 3 general election. 

In the presidential sweepstakes, Bob Ely of Illinois, Randall Terry of West Virginia and Jim Rogers of Oklahoma entered the Democratic primary race against incumbent President Barack Obama. 

The Associated Press reported Ely promises to be “the least popular president of all time” with his pledge to raise taxes and slash government spending. Also on the ballot in New Hampshire and a few other states, Randall Terry is well-known as an ardent opponent of abortion, having been arrested more than 50 times for his work with Operation Rescue.

Rogers is a perennial candidate in Oklahoma, and actually secured the Democratic nomination to oppose Republican U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn in 2010. Coburn crushed Rogers in the general election, leading the historic Republican sweep of all statewide races. Today, Rogers presented the $2,500 filing fee, telling Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax he had held onto the $1,000 refund he gained after becoming the party nominee in that earlier race, adding another $1,500 to pay the presidential fee. 

President Barack Obama’s campaign submitted his papers and filing fee on Monday. 

Bachmann’s campaign got her required fee and paper work submitted without incident. Huntsman, however, ran into logistical challenges when a surrogate initially submitted (on Tuesday) a filing fee improperly. He managed to get things done under state procedures by about 4:15 p.m.

Rep. Bachmann and former Ambassador Huntsman join former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, Lone Star State Texas Governor Rick Perry, and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in the Republican field. 
In Tulsa’s state House District 71, the seat held until November 30 by Dan Sullivan, six new hopefuls joined the race today. 

On the Democratic side, Robert J. Walpole will run against Dan Arthrell. 

A wave of Republicans filed in the state House race today. In order of candidacy submission, they were: Katie Henke, Gerald J. Lovoi, Bonnie Huffines, Janet K. Sullivan and Jacqualyn Moss. The latter two completed their paperwork within 15 minutes of the close of business.

Sullivan is the ex-wife of the former representative. In a brief interview with reporters, she indentified the district’s lack of representation as a key issue, saying she hoped “we can come together” to settle on one person to serve as representative.

In response to CapitolBeatOK’s request for clarification as to whether she would ask others to withdraw so that she can be elected, she said she might stand down herself if she feels that is best for the district. The question appeared to upset her.

Other Republican candidates in H.D. 71 include Evelyn L. Rogers and Lydia M. D’Ross. 

The race for state Senate District 46 will be decided on Feb. 14. The Democratic nominee is state Rep. Al McAffrey. The Republican nominee is attorney Jason Reese. 

No new candidates filed in state Senate District 20, the seat of the late Sen. David Myers. 

Republicans in the Feb. 14 primary include Chris Humphreys of Guthrie, Phil Berkenbile of Morrison, Wayne Murphey of Guthrie, and Ann (A.J.) Griffin of Guthrie. Rev. Magnus W.T. Scott Sr. of Langston will be the Democratic nominee. 

Contests of candidacy must be filed by Friday and will be decided after hearings next week; voluntary withdrawal of candidacies face a Friday deadline. Party order on the ballot (which political party is listed first) will be determined tomorrow (Thursday, December 8).

In special legislative elections, nominees are chosen by plurality – there will be no runoff.