Sheriff, state representative, hot races for Tuesday election

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Payne County voters will head to the polls on Tuesday, June 30 to decide who will lead government, legislate policy, and enforce the law for the next two to four years.

Three candidates are vying to be the county’s next sheriff. Incumbent Sheriff Kevin Woodward, a former undersheriff who was appointed to complete the remainder of former Sheriff R.B. Hauf’s term, is seeking a full-term in office.

He is being challenged by Garry McKinnis, a former Payne County undersheriff, and Payne County Deputy Joe Harper.

The three candidates will face off in the Republican primary. If none of the candidates captures as least 50.1 percent of the vote, the top two finishers will advance to a run-off election on Aug. 25 to determine the winner. No other candidate filed, so this race will not appear on the Nov. 3 general election ballot.

Incumbent Oklahoma House Representative John Talley, of Stillwater, faces off against Brice Nathaniel Chaffin, of Stillwater, in the House District 33 Republican primary. No democrats have file in this race.

Payne County Court Clerk Lori Allen, County Clerk Glenna Craig and District 2 Commissioner Chris Reding will automatically take new terms of office because they filed unopposed.

Stillwater voters will vote for Wards 4 and 5 on the Stillwater Board of Education.

The election was previously scheduled for April 7, but was rescheduled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Dustin Reavis, a former software engineer, was appointed in 2019 to fill the vacancy in Ward 4.

He and Melody Wright, Success Coach with Oklahoma State University’s LASSO student success center, are seeking a fiveyear term in Ward 4.

Ashley K. Moore, program coordinator for the OSU TEACH teacher recruitment program, and Steve Hallgren, a retired research scientist and OSU professor, are seeking the open seat in Ward 5.

Residents in the Cushing zip code who vote in Precinct 104 at the Elks Lodge, will see a Yale School Board of Education race, and a Drumright School Board of Education race on their ballots.

In Yale, Dustin Mueggenborg and Marty Foutch are vying for Office No. 5, while Alicia Richardson and Board President Forrest Gray III are vying for Office No. 5 on the Drumright School Board of Education.

Voters will also decide on State Question 802 on whether to expand Medicaid health coverage to more Oklahomans.

According to the Oklahoma State Election Board website, this measure would add a provision to the Oklahoma Constitution requiring the state to expand Medicaid coverage. The expanded coverage would include certain persons over 18 and under 65 who are not already covered and whose annual income, as calculated under federal law, is at or below 133% of the federal poverty line.

The federal poverty line changes annually, but for example if this measure were in effect in 2019, the measure generally would have covered a single adult making less than $17,236 annually and adults in a family of four making less than $35,535 annually.

Under this measure, the State cannot create additional restrictions that make it more difficult to qualify for expanded Medicaid coverage than it is to qualify for the Medicaid program currently in place.

The Medicaid program is funded jointly by the federal government and the state. This measure would require the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) to try to maximize federal funding for Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma.

If the measure is approved, OHCA has 90 days to submit all documents necessary to obtain federal approval for implementing Medicaid expansion by July 1, 2021.

Early voting will occur from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, June 25 and Friday, June 26, and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 27.

Polls open on June 30 at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.