For those of us with Political Science degrees, elections are like March Madness for sports editors. You get the primaries, runoffs and then the big championship game at the end.
Tuesday's primaries didn't disappoint if you enjoy intrigue.
Oklahoma says yes to "nice" marijuana
Most people expected the medical marijuana measure to pass. Even in Oklahoma, a majority of the voters see the benefits the drug has treating chronic diseases, helping slow opioid abuse and several other applications.
I'm not going to tell you Oklahomans are ready to see people recreationally smoking pot at the lake like others drink beer, but the state is closer to that reality than you might think.
More than 56 percent of voters indicated their desire to approve the use of the drug for medicinal purposes in the state.
I don't know that a measure to support recreational use would pass, but about half a million people said "yes" to medicinal uses even though opponents tried to convince voters that if SQ788 passed, the entire state would become either Shaggy in the back of the Mystery Machine or the latest Cheech and Chong sequel.
Just a thought, if people who use pot are such a problem for society, why were they able to get their measure on the ballot and have it pass while the ultra-conservative crowd led by Tom Coburn and his band of merry men and women couldn't even get their petition to stop a teacher pay raise certified because they used misleading language.
There's a good chance Gov. Mary Fallin's last act before leaving office will be calling the legislature back into a special session to figure out how to regulate marijuana usage in the state.
What's the worst that could happen?
Shawnee voters put trust in city leaders
By a narrow margin, Shawnee's progressive voters approved a half-cent sales tax that will fund several big projects in the city - some of which have been on the drawing board for decades.
The fire and police department improvements are important for a growing city. The parks, streets and sidewalks will keep the city's quality of life high. It was a close call - but like they always say, 50 percent plus one vote is enough to win. Even a small majority rules. In this case 3,270 voters made a decision that disappointed 3,230 voters on the other side.
If city leaders manage the funds well and move the city forward, those voters' concerns will be mollified.
Ed Bolt wins a seat on the City Commission
Ed Bolt and Steve Palmer ran a race most people hope for in a city commission race. Two good people who were running for the right reasons and having nothing bad to say about their opponent.
I think if you had a crystal ball, you could look into the future and see Bolt being a great representative for his ward and the city.
District 26 will be interesting going forward
Incumbent Dell Kerbs had no trouble winning his primary. There were rumors during the latter portion of the primary that some oil and gas money would come in against Kerbs because he voted to increase the gross production tax this session. Apparently that money went elsewhere and Kerbs progressed to the November General Election without a serious contest.
On the Democratic side of that race, it was as close as you would imagine. Terry Hopkins held a slight edge over Shawnee teachers Bruce Bushong and Lauren Richter. Bushong will advance to the runoff where Richter's voters will decide who takes on Kerbs in November. Richter won 1,200 votes. Those won't all show up at the runoff in August, but the candidate who wins over her 30 percent of the electorate will win the Democratic nomination.
Lamb bows out in the primary
In one of the more shocking developments of the primary, Lt. Governor Todd Lamb saw his gubernatorial campaign crash at the finish line. Former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett topped a crowded field and Kevin Stitt spent enough of his own money to knock Lamb out early.
No other candidate managed more than eight percent of the vote.
Lamb should have won the primary easily. He has had eight years to travel the state and basically campaign at taxpayers' expense. He saw the writing on the wall early this year and tried to separate himself from Gov. Fallin and her historic unpopularity. But Lamb also said he wouldn't have supported the raise the legislature approved for teachers this session. Stitt agreed with Lamb on that issue. You have to think that helped Cornett separate himself from the pack. Cornett's Pottawatomie County performance outpaced his statewide results. He won about 29 percent of the statewide vote and more than 39 percent here.
I really like Todd Lamb. I went to college with him at Oklahoma State. We had classes together. We worked side by side on projects. He is a good man who made strategic mistakes in an election.
His early and tight embrace of Donald Trump - whose approval rating in Oklahoma is still above par - and his overt push to be the National Rifle Association candidate had to cost him in a race with such slim margins.
He followed the polls. A majority of Republicans in Oklahoma love Trump and love their guns. But the far right voters found a home with Stitt or the fringe candidates who consumed a few votes here and there.
Lamb hugging the NRA figuratively and Donald Trump Jr. literally cost him any chance with voters who even come close to being considered moderates. Lamb being for Trump and against a teacher pay raise made Cornett look really good to voters toward the center. Being tied to eight years of Mary Fallin made voters further to the right look to Stitt.
I hope this isn't it for Lamb. I still believe he is a good man who took some really bad electoral advice and because of that he wasted a lot of money and a great shot at the Governor's mansion.