In Wednesday’s column, I had some information on changes to the election laws in 2012 as provided to me by Pottawatomie County Election Board Secretary Dianna Knight.


In Wednesday’s column, I had some information on changes to the election laws in 2012 as provided to me by Pottawatomie County Election Board Secretary Dianna Knight.

Here are some of the various seats up for election next year at the city, county, state and federal levels.

City commission seats on the ballot which are now held by Ward 2 Frank Sims, Ward 3 James Harrod, Mayor Linda Peterson and Ward 4 Billy Collier are all on the ballot in 2012.

County positions that will be on the ballot in 2012 include the Pottawatomie County Court Clerk, now held by Reta Head; the Pottawatomie County Clerk’s position held by Nancy Bryce; the sheriff’s position held by Mike Booth; and the District 2 County Commission seat which is held by Jerry Richards.

House of Representatives seats which will be on the ballot for county voters include the District 26 post of House Speaker Kris Steele. He is term limited and prevented from seeking another term, having been first elected to the House in 2000.

Others include State Rep. Josh Cockroft’s District 27 post, State Rep. Tom Newell’s District 28 seat and District 20 State Rep. Wesley Hilliard.

One which will draw most of the national attention of course is the presidency and vice presidency which is a four-year term.

Congressman James Lankford will be up for another two-year term. He is currently in his freshman year as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Oklahoma’s fifth district, which encompasses all of Pottawatomie and Seminole counties along with a good portion of Oklahoma County as well.

Neither U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn nor U.S. Sen. Jim Inhoff is up for re-election. Coburn won a six-year term in 2010, and Inhoff was elected in 2008 for a six-year term.

Sen. Charles Laster’s District 17 seat will be on the ballot next year. Laster won a special election in February of 2003 to fill the vacancy created by Brad Henry who was first elected governor in November of 2002. Laster won re-election in 2004 and again in 2008.

District 13 Sen. Susan Paddack, from Ada, who has a portion of southern Pottawatomie County in her district, will have her seat on the ballot in 2012 as well.

Sen. Harry Coates, from District 28, which also covers part of Pottawatomie County, won election last year, so his seat will not be on the ballot.

Corporation Commissioner Bob Anthony’s position will be on the ballot.

And so will several state judicial retention posts including justice of the Supreme Court, Court of the Criminal Appeals, Court of Appeals and judicial retention.

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Shawnee’s Ducks Unlimited banquet is being called a Ducks Unlimited Waterfowling Party this year and will be held this coming Thursday, Oct. 27, at the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Reunion Hall west of Firelake Golf Course. It begins at 6:30 p.m.

The $35 cost includes a meal, drinks and entry for raffles. Auctions will be held separately.

For more information or to purchase tickets contact Cole Cheatwood, 584-1633, Chris Babb, 712-3009 or Colby Carpenter, 650-3348.

They say there will be more than $5,000 in prizes to be raffled and/or auctioned, among them are shotguns, decoys, knives and other items.

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Oklahoma’s Department of Wildlife Conservation sends along this information:

Opportunities to attend an Oklahoma hunter education class between now and opening day of deer gun season Nov. 19 are plentiful, and most hunters need the certification to hunt deer without supervision.

Hunters have many class dates and locations to choose from across the state before deer gun season arrives, with nearly 30 classes scheduled for Nov. 5 and Nov. 12 alone.

“People have busy schedules these days,” said Lance Meek, hunter education coordinator for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “These courses are a huge benefit to those sportsmen who couldn’t make it to a class earlier in the year.”

With hundreds of courses offered throughout the year, most Oklahomans do not need to drive very far to find a class between now and deer gun season.

In recent years, the Wildlife Department has offered even more last minute courses during the weekend prior to the opening day of deer gun season, and according to Meek, the turnout is worth the effort.

“Hunters have responded very well to these offerings,” Meek said. “Last year, we certified over 3,000 students the two weekends before deer gun season. That’s a significant percentage of the number of students certified all year.”

Oklahoma hunter education courses cover a manual designed specifically for Oklahoma hunter education students. Curriculum for the manual was developed by the University of Central Oklahoma with oversight from Department hunter education instructors.

Since it is an Oklahoma specific manual, unlike most of the manuals used in the rest of the country, students will see more Oklahoma scenes and situations throughout the pages of the manual.

“The thing I love about this manual is that it really focuses on the things that are important for hunter education students to know,” Meek said. “The majority of the manual focuses on safety and ethics, and those are the most important things you can teach new hunters.”

Hunters 10 to 30 years old must be hunter education certified to hunt alone, while hunters under 10 years old must be accompanied by a licensed adult hunter 18 years old or older who is either hunter education certified or exempt. Hunters exempt from hunter education include those 31 years of age or older, those honorably discharged from or currently on duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, and members of the National Guard.

Oklahomans who are not exempt from hunter education and who are not hunter education certified may be eligible to hunt with an apprentice-designated hunting license. For full details and license requirements, log on to wildlifedepartment.com or consult the current “Oklahoma Hunting Guide.”

Even those hunters who can hunt with an apprentice-designated hunting license are encouraged to complete a hunter education course.

The Wildlife Department offers a full listing of available upcoming hunter education courses online at wildlifedepartment.com.

Visitors to the site can learn when and where classes will be held, and a phone number is provided if pre-registration is required.

Hunter education covers a variety of topics including firearm safety and handling, treestand safety, ethics, muzzleloader hunting, archery, wildlife identification and wildlife management. It is available as a standard eight-hour course, as an Internet home study course and as a workbook home study course. It is strongly recommended that anyone planning on hunting or shooting complete a hunter education class.

For more information, log on to wildlifedepartment.com.

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If you have ideas or something of interest for this column, please call me at 214-3922 or email me at michael.mccormick@news-star.com. Please include your name and a phone number for contact purposes.