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The Latest: Voters approve Marsy’s Law in Oklahoma

November 7, 2018
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Lt. Governor-elect, Matt Pinnell, addresses a crowd during his victory speech during a Republican watch party at the Bricktown Event Center in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, Nov. 06, 2018. (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Latest on the 2018 election in Oklahoma (all times local):

12:15 a.m.

The GOP has continued its stronghold on Oklahoma’s statewide offices, from governor on down.

Voters on Tuesday elected Matt Pinnell as lieutenant governor, and Attorney General Mike Hunter won election to his first full term after being appointed to replace Scott Pruitt. Pruitt resigned after being named head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

GOP nominees also held on to the office of schools superintendent after Joy Hofmeister was re-elected and a corporation commission seat with the re-election of Bob Anthony.

Republicans also won races for state auditor and inspector, treasurer, labor commissioner and insurance commissioner.

Political newcomer Kevin Stitt has won the election for Oklahoma governor, taking the reins from term-limited Republican Mary Fallin.

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11:30 p.m.

Oklahoma’s only state question out of five that is certain to pass in this year’s midterm elections is known as Marsy’s Law, which would expand crime victims’ rights.

Other measures that would have elected the governor and lieutenant governor on a joint ticket and created a gross production budget reserve fund from oil and natural gas revenue both were defeated in Tuesday’s elections.

Two other state questions, one that would allow optometrists and opticians to operate in retail establishments and another to allow school districts to use property tax revenue for classroom needs, were too close to call late Tuesday.

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10:40 p.m.

Republican Kevin Hern has defeated Democrat Tim Gilpin to win Oklahoma’s open U.S. House seat, District 1, in the Tulsa area.

Hern was victorious Tuesday in succeeding former Rep. Jim Bridenstine, a Republican who resigned after being appointed as director of NASA.

In the 5th District, GOP incumbent Steve Russell was upset in his re-election bid by Democratic challenger Kendra Horn.

Tuesday’s vote makes Horn the first Democrat in more than 40 years to win the district, which includes downtown Oklahoma City, and it’s the first time the conservative state has been represented by a Democrat in Congress since 2013.

GOP Reps. Tom Cole, Frank Lucas and Markwayne Mullin each handily won re-election.

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10:20 p.m.

Democrat Kendra Horn has ridden a blue wave of support to upset Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Russell in Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District.

Tuesday’s vote makes Horn the first Democrat in more than 40 years to win the district, which includes downtown Oklahoma City, and it’s the first time the conservative state has been represented by a Democrat in Congress since 2013.

Horn is an attorney and mediator and formerly served as press secretary to a Democratic former congressman.

Republican Reps. Tom Cole, Frank Lucas and Markwayne Mullin each handily won re-election.

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8:55 p.m.

Political newcomer Kevin Stitt has won the election for Oklahoma governor, continuing the Republican Party’s stronghold on the conservative state’s government.

Stitt defeated Democrat and former state attorney general Drew Edmondson in the open race to replace term-limited GOP Gov. Mary Fallin.

The 46-year-old Stitt, who founded Gateway Mortgage Group, cast himself as a businessman outsider in the mold of President Donald Trump. Stitt boosted his campaign with millions in personal loans.

Stitt defeated a 10-man field in the GOP primary that included Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb and former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. Stitt has said he’d support raising teacher salaries, but he also has hammered an anti-tax message and said he would have opposed the tax hike the Republican-led Legislature approved this year to raise teacher pay.

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7 p.m.

Polls have closed in Oklahoma for midterm elections that will decide who will be the state’s next governor, plus who will be the state’s newest congressman.

Polls closed at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The race for the open governor’s seat topped Oklahoma’s contests, which include other statewide offices and legislative seats, plus congressional races.

GOP Gov. Mary Fallin is term-limited, leaving an open seat for the state’s top executive. Republican businessman Kevin Stitt faces Democrat and former state attorney general Drew Edmondson.

Voters in the Tulsa area are choosing a replacement for Jim Bridenstine, who resigned to take a job as the head of NASA. Republican Kevin Hern faces Democrat Tim Gilpin in the race for U.S. House District 1.

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10:35 a.m.

Oklahoma voters who cast their ballots for Republican Kevin Stitt for governor in Tuesday’s election say they like his experience as a businessman, while Democrat Drew Edmondson receives praise for his support of public schools.

Those two themes were common among voters who are deciding who will replace term-limited Republican Gov. Mary Fallin.

Stitt’s background as the founder and CEO of Gateway Mortgage Group appealed to 59-year-old Robert Sheehan, an accountant from Edmond who voted for Stitt at the Oklahoma County Election Board. Sheehan said he wanted to see “a change in some of the old guard.”

Twenty-four-year-old medical student Angela Metcalf said she voted for Democrat and former state Attorney General Drew Edmondson, mostly because of his support for teachers during a statewide walkout in the spring.

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7 a.m.

Oklahoma voters are set to make their pick for an open congressional seat as well as the governor’s office in midterm elections.

Polls opened at 7 a.m. Tuesday and will close at 7 p.m.

Voters in the Tulsa area will choose a replacement for Republican former U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine, who resigned to take a job at the helm of NASA. Republican Kevin Hern faces Democrat Tim Gilpin in the race for the U.S. House District 1 seat.

The state’s top race is to replace term-limited GOP Gov. Mary Fallin. Republican businessman Kevin Stitt faces Democrat and former state attorney general Drew Edmondson.

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8:30 p.m.

While the race to become Oklahoma’s next governor tops the ballot in this year’s general election, voters will have plenty of other decisions to make.

Polls are open across the state from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Voters also will decide contests for U.S. House and statewide offices, plus races for state Legislature, judge and district attorney. Five state questions also are on the ballot.

Neither of Oklahoma’s U.S. Senate seats are up for re-election, but all five of the state’s U.S. House seats are. Republicans are expected to maintain their grip on Oklahoma’s federal delegation, although Democrats hope voter enthusiasm propels nonprofit agency director Kendra Horn to an upset victory over Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Russell in the Oklahoma City-area district.

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