Oklahoma GOP wins governor, US Senate races in Oklahoma, expects midterm elections sweep



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OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Republicans made a clean sweep Tuesday, retaining control of both U.S. Senate seats and the governor's mansion, as well as all five spots in the U.S. House.

Some highlights from the election:


TOP OF THE TICKET

Republican incumbent Gov. Mary Fallin fended off a challenge from Democratic state Rep. Joe Dorman in her quest for a second four-year term as Oklahoma's chief executive.

Fallin hasn't lost an election in two decades of public service that included stints as a state legislator, lieutenant governor, and U.S. congresswoman.

Dorman claimed Fallin had missteps in education, including her support of an A-F grading system for public schools and high-stakes reading tests for third-graders.

Fallin has said public education, including a pay raise for teachers, will be a top priority.


BOTH SENATE SEATS ON THE BALLOT

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn's decision to step down two years before his term expires left Oklahoma in the odd position of having its entire congressional delegation up at the same time — two Senate seats, which are usually staggered, and all five House seats, which come up every two years.

Republican U.S. Rep. James Lankford defeated Democratic state Sen. Connie Johnson of Oklahoma City and an independent to finish the remaining two years of Coburn's term, while Sen. Jim Inhofe won another term against Democrat Matt Silverstein and three independents.


NEW SUPERINTENDENT

Republican Joy Hofmeister became only the second Republican since statehood to be elected Oklahoma's state superintendent of schools, defeating Democrat John Cox.

Hofmeister, a former member of the state Board of Education who defeated incumbent Janet Barresi in the GOP primary in June, said she's dedicated to improving public schools and teachers.

"There's job satisfaction as well as job compensation," she said after the polls closed. "We have demoralized teachers by making the focus on the test scores. We need to work on getting competitive teacher pay. We're losing teachers to other states."

Barresi had alienated local school officials, teachers and some parents after imposing an A-F grading system for schools, overseeing mandatory testing for third-graders that could prevent them from advancing to the fourth grade and backing — then withdrawing — support for Common Core standards.

Legislators dropped the Common Core standards, but the state's failure to quickly impose similar guidelines to make pupils ready for college or a career led the U.S. Department of Education to pull a waiver from some No Child Left Behind requirements.


IN THE LEGISLATURE

Republicans will maintain control of the Oklahoma Legislature.

GOP candidates defeated enough Democrats to clinch at least 51 seats in the 101-member House.

Republicans also will maintain control of the 48-member state Senate. Only 12 Senate seats were up for grabs and Democrats could not have won control of the chamber.

Democrats targeted Republican-controlled House seats they considered vulnerable and were hoping to win back a chamber they lost in 2004 after 80 years of majority status. Republicans gained control of the Senate in 2008.


FIVE OF A KIND

Five Republicans were assured of having statewide jobs in 2015. Scott Pruitt was unopposed in his bid for another term as attorney general. Other unopposed incumbents included Auditor-Inspector Gary Jones, Treasurer Ken Miller and Insurance Commissioner John Doak.

Todd Hiett won a term on the state Corporation Commission.

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