Up in flames: Sooner Tea Party’s candidates fail

There’ll be no large influx of Sooner Tea Party legislators next year.

That’s evident today (Wednesday, June 27) after Tuesday’s voting, which gave the controversial STP no traction in the House or Senate. The voting did, however, give Jim Bridenstine a victory over incumbent 1st District Congressman John Sullivan. Bridenstine was “adopted” by the STP as one of its candidates, but the relationship was a distant one and he did not campaign as an STP selectee.

The STP’s effort to knock off incumbent Republicans it labeled as “not conservative enough” resulted in the two wins and four runoffs, which means its total wins could hit only four if all its candidates win their runoffs.

And the STP lost at least 13 races, often with candidates who didn’t get out of the single digits.

STP candidates most often were crushed; Senator Mike Mazzei dispatched Ronda Vuillemont-Smith 73-27, Dan Newberry sent Mark Croucher packing, Senator Brian Crain took Kevin McDugle 53-47, Marian Cooksey defeated Bob Dani 55-45 and Senator Clark Jolley defeated Paul Blair 60-40. Elise Hall walked to victory and Gary Banz killed A. J. Bailey in Midwest City, 84-16 percent.

The STP did manage to oust one legislative incumbent, with Mike Turner defeating Rep. Guy Liebmann in northwest Oklahoma City.

The STP distributed thousands of “newspapers” in targeted districts with little or no apparent result. In some districts, it is speculated they hurt the candidates they were supposed to be helping.

NOTE: Mike McCarville is a retired radio journalist, and remains one of Oklahoma’s most widely read analysts. For the original of this article, and to read other posts on his website, visit here.