Pottawatomie, Lincoln and Seminole county voters head to the polls Tuesday to decide a myriad of races and choose Democrat and Republican nominees in others.

Diana Knight, Pottawatomie County Election Board secretary, said there are 37,821 registered voters in the county. “I’d be thrilled if we get 50 percent, and really expect 42 to 43 percent,” she said of voter turnout.

Knight said in-person absentee voting, which was offered Friday, Saturday and concludes on Monday, began briskly. She said that at the end of Saturday, 219 people had voted — 155 on Friday and 64 on Saturday.

“I feel like that’s pretty good,” she said.


Pottawatomie, Lincoln and Seminole county voters head to the polls Tuesday to decide a myriad of races and choose Democrat and Republican nominees in others.
Diana Knight, Pottawatomie County Election Board secretary, said there are 37,821 registered voters in the county. “I’d be thrilled if we get 50 percent, and really expect 42 to 43 percent,” she said of voter turnout.
Knight said in-person absentee voting, which was offered Friday, Saturday and concludes on Monday, began briskly. She said that at the end of Saturday, 219 people had voted — 155 on Friday and 64 on Saturday.
“I feel like that’s pretty good,” she said.
On Tuesday, polling will be allowed only in the 30 precincts throughout Pottawatomie County. Polls will be opened from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. in all 77 counties across the state.
Several hotly contested races are on the ballot for voters in Shawnee and in the county. All registered voters in Shawnee can vote in the three city commission races, which include a total of eight candidates. The only commission race that will be decided for certain is in Ward 3, where incumbent Marva O’Neal is challenged by former city commissioner James Harrod, whom she defeated four years ago.
There are three candidates in the race for mayor. Ward 5 commissioner and former vice mayor Linda Peterson is seeking the seat Mayor Chuck Mills is giving up at the end of his term. Linda Agee, who spent 30 years with the Federal Aviation Administration before retiring, also is running for the post, along with Matt LaHue, a local school teacher. If none of three claims a majority in Tuesday’s election, the top two will face off in the Nov. 4 general election.
Three people are in the contest for Ward 2 commissioner. Current Ward 2 commissioner Tom Schrzan is not running for re-election after serving one term. Those seeking to succeed him are Jerry Chastain, Frank Sims and George Davis.
In the county sheriff’s race, Democrat and Republican voters will help decide their nominees among six candidates. Incumbent Kurt Shirey has three challengers in the Democratic primary: district attorney investigator  Mike Booth, McLoud Police Chief Gary Roe and retired Shawnee police officer Jay Davis.
Republican hopefuls seeking the post are Chris Hurley and Jerry Farris. Hurley is a former sheriff’s deputy, reserve deputy and has military experience. Farris is a retired master sergeant with the Oklahoma City Police Department and works for the Cleveland County sheriff’s office.
If there is not majority winner on the Democrat side Tuesday, the top two will be on the Aug. 26 primary runoff ballot, with the winner facing Tuesday’s Republican winner in the Nov. 4 general election.
Democrats living in the District 2 area of Pottawatomie County also will choose between four county commissioner candidates, and Democrats throughout the county will decide the contest for county clerk.
In the race for District 2 commissioners, incumbent Jerry Richards is challenged by J.C. Jackson, Leslie Poff and Charles Carthen. Should one of the four not claim a majority, the top two will square off Aug. 26.
There are no Republicans in the District 2 commissioner contest.
The county clerk contest pits incumbent Nancy Bryce against Alicia Warner. Bryce has been in the office more than 23 years and has been clerk for 15 years. Warner works for the District 2 county commissioner and has previous experience in the clerk’s office.
Voters in Maud will decide a Ward 1 council race between Carl Parramore and Casey Garren.
Republicans in the county will help choose a GOP nominee for corporation commissioner between Rob Johnson and Dana Murphy.
Democrats will choose a nominee to run against Fifth District U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin in November. On the ballot are Bert Smith and Steven Perry.
Democrats and Republicans throughout the county will help choose nominees for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Sen. Jim Inhofe. He is opposed in his own party by Evelyn Rogers, Dennis Lopez and Ted Ryals.
On the Democrat side, Andrew Rice and Jim Rogers are seeking the nomination.
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Mike McCormick may be reached at 214-3922 or michael.mccormick@news-star.com.