Day One: President Obama, three GOP hopefuls file for Oklahoma primary, seven candidates jump into three special legislative races

On the first day of filing for Oklahoma’s March 6 presidential primary, President Barack Obama filed as a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, while three Republicans filed for the Grand Old Party’s nod to oppose him. 

Hopefuls in three state legislative races also have tossed their hats into the ring. The filings all occurred at the offices of the state Election Board in the basement of the state Capitol in Oklahoma City. 

Republicans filing for the presidency today included U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, Lone Star State Gov. Rick Perry, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Several others in the multi-candidate field are expected to enter the Oklahoma primary before filing ends at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. All of the presidential filings were carried out by surrogates. 

Georgia businessman Herman Cain will not be one of those entering the Oklahoma race, however, having announced suspension of his campaign last weekend. Cain still planned to keep a date to raise money for the state Republican Party at an evening event, where admission was pegged at $20.12.

Early next year, the presidential caucus and primary season formally begins with the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary. The field among Republicans is wide open enough that some analysts say the race may still be unsettled when the Oklahoma primary comes around. 

A total of three special legislative elections opened for candidate filing today (Monday, December 5). Primaries are slated for February 14, and general elections for April 3. However, if primaries are not necessary the first date will serve as the general election.

In state Senate District 20, the seat formerly in the hands of the late David Myers of Ponca City, three Republicans filed today. They are Phil Berkenbile of Morrison, Wayne Murphey of Guthrie and Ann AJ Griffin of Guthrie. 

In Oklahoma City’s state Senate District 46 (the seat still held, until Jan. 15 by Senate Minority Leader Andrew Rice), state Rep. Al McAffrey will seek the Democratic nomination, while attorney Jason Reese will seek the Republican nod. The post is open because Rice filed an irrevocable resignation. 

In Tulsa’s House District 71, the post held until last Wednesday (November 30) by state Rep. Dan Sullivan, Dan Arthrell is seeking the Democratic nomination, while Evelyn L. Rogers wants the GOP line.