Local candidates raising funds one year before election.
Although the calendar still reads November 2013, area politicians and political hopefuls are preparing for next year’s elections.
Both incumbents and individuals challenging them are required to file campaign finance reports at the end of each quarter. The most recent of these deadlines was Sept. 30.
State and local candidates must file their finance reports with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission while federal candidates file with the Federal Election Commission.
Individuals officially become candidates for an elected office when they file with the Oklahoma Election Board. The filing deadline for 2014 elections is April 11, 2014.
Heading the list of upcoming elections is the one for Oklahoma’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes all of both Pottawatomie and Seminole counties.
Republican James Lankford of Oklahoma City currently holds that office. Through Sept. 30, Lankford has raised $310,261 and has $454,737 in cash on hand.
At present, Lankford’s lone opponent is Democrat Tom Guild of Edmond. Through Sept. 30, Guild has raised $11,450 and has $3,111 in cash on hand. Guild is a retired professor, who taught at the University of Central Oklahoma and Oklahoma City University.
Another race that has drawn some interest is the Oklahoma Senate District 28 seat. This seat covers parts of Lincoln, Pottawatomie and Seminole Counties.
The incumbent, Sen. Harry Coates of Seminole, is ineligible to run for another term in 2014. He’s held the post since 2002.
Oklahoma’s Constitution limits state legislators to 12 years in office.
As of Nov. 11, three candidates have indicated interest in the seat. All three are Republicans.
They include Kevin Wallace of Wellston. Wallace is a co-owner and operator of the Wilderness Refuge, a hunting facility in Wellston. Through Sept. 30, Wallace has raised $17,350 and has the same amount in cash on hand.
Charles Mashek of Shawnee is another apparently interested in the Senate District 28 seat. Mashek’s occupation is listed as student on his candidate committee’s Statement of Organization. Mashek has raised $6,880 and received $35,000 in loans through Sept. 30. His total monetary receipts are $41,880 and he has $27,973.21 in cash on hand.
A third candidate is Joe Dobry of Chandler. No financial information is available for Dobry as he did not file his paperwork until Oct. 2.
Fundraising has begun in only one of the four Oklahoma House of Representative districts serving parts of Lincoln, Pottawatomie and Seminole Counties. These are House Districts 25, 26, 27 and 28.
The incumbent in House District 27, Rep. Josh Cockroft, a Republican from Tecumseh has raised $1,925 through Sept. 30. As of that date, Cockroft has $1,028.64 cash on hand.
Cockroft has drawn a challenger from within the Republican Party.
Lani Habrock of Tecumseh filed paperwork on Oct. 1. Habrock is the owner of Three Nine Media, a web design and social media company in Shawnee. She has raised $1,550 through Sept. 30 and has the same amount of cash on hand.
The final local race with financial information available is the District 23 District Attorney, which covers Lincoln and Pottawatomie counties. At present, only the incumbent, Richard Smothermon has filed a campaign financial report. Smothermon, a Democrat from Shawnee, has raised $5,414.63 through Sept. 30 and has $962.26 in cash on hand.
The next filing deadline is Dec. 31.
The first election of the 2014 cycle will be the Republican and Democratic Primaries on Tuesday, June 24, 2014. Then, any race without a majority winner will have a runoff election on Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014.
The general election is set for Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014.