A Tecumseh area businessman, who is a political newcomer, won the Democratic nomination for House District 27 in Tuesday’s primary election.
Randy Gilbert, who along with his wife Suzanne manage and operate Gilbert and Sons Trucking and the Tecumseh Tag Agency, defeated Troy Green of the Oklahoma City area.
Gilbert will face Republican incumbent Rep. Josh Cockroft in the Nov. 6 general election. Cockroft didn’t have a primary opponent.
Voters also chose Republican nominees for the District 26 House and Senate District 17 seats.
From his home Tuesday night, surrounded by supporters, Gilbert said “I have been overwhelmed by the support and humbled by those who have called, walked and knocked doors.”
Gilbert added “we are just getting started and look forward to the summer and the fall and the general election.”
This is the first time Gilbert, 52, has sought a political office, deciding on the final day of the filing period in April to seek the seat held by Cockroft who won election two years ago.
“We are going to work to get public education back to the level it should be. Thank you to everyone who has helped get us to here this evening. It was totally a group effort,” he concluded.
Oklahoma House District 26 and Senate District 17 are one step closer to filling the seat, but the ultimate winners will not be decided until later this year.
Justin Wood, from Shawnee, edged out Michael Shaw Tuesday to win the Republican nominationfor House District 26.
Senate Republican candidates Ron Sharp and Ed Moore, both of Shawnee, will face off in August for the District 17 seat in the Oklahoma Senate.
Neither candidate received 51 percent of the vote to procure the seat, but voters narrowed the field from four candidates to two, Tuesday.
Sharp received 31.11 percent of the vote with 1,339 votes and Moore received 33.97 percent with 1,462 votes.
“It’s going to be a long hot summer,” Moore said. “When you’re splitting it four ways you’re not going to get the 51 percent. So, now what we have to do is just keep meeting the voters.”
There is not a Democratic candidate running for District 17, so the winner of the Aug. 28 run-off election will claim the seat formerly held by Sen. Charlie Laster (D-Shawnee).
“Right now it’s just who can gather up the support and who has the backing,” Sharp said, when asked about the next step in the race for senate. “I’ve got some very wonderful organizations backing me, and I think I’ll pick up even more support now that they know it’s a two man race.”
Both candidates said that in a four-man race, they did not really expect this election to be decisive.
Wood will run against Democrat Patty Wagstaff in November for the House District 26 seat. Wood won more than 57 percent Tuesday night.
“It’s a big step for someone who went from being called a child to a political machine within a week,” Wood said. “We ran a solid campaign. I have great people around me... we did this as a team and worked very hard.”
Wood relied on family and friends to help run his political campaign and not consultants, he said. While Wood spoke highly of his opponent for the Republican candidacy, he said he was really looking forward to running against Wagstaff for the seat.
“My wife worked for her and she had a sign of mine in her yard before she decided to run,” Wood said with a laugh. “I’m excited about running against someone that I genuinely care for and I hope that she is as respectful of me as I will be of her.”
Wood and Wagstaff will run in the general election Nov. 6.