Voters within Delaware county will join their counterparts throughout the state and nation deciding on local, state and federal races during the Tuesday, Nov. 8, general election.
Voting on Tuesday opens at 7 a.m. and will continue until 7 p.m., at polling places throughout the county.
Election officials anticipate wait times will be the shortest during the general election at mid-morning or mid-afternoon. Voters in line at 7 p.m., will be allowed to cast their ballots as the polls close.
Early voting takes place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 3, 4 and 5, at the Delaware County Election Board office, 225 South Fifth Street, Jay.
Voting on Thursday and Friday takes place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., while voting on Saturday is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is no early voting on Monday.
Races on the county, state and federal levels to be determined on the general election ballot, along with a brief bio when available, include:
• County Sheriff - Harlan Moore (R), who is completing his first term in office, will face challenger Mike Shambaugh (D) for the office.
Moore said he is running for a second four-year term as sheriff in order to accomplish some things left unfinished in his first term.
“I've accomplished a lot of those things that I planned, but I have not fully accomplished everything,” Moore said. “I think my plan was too aggressive for a four-year period.
"I think to truly accomplish everything I can to get this Sheriff's Office up to where it should be, it's going to take another term.”
Moore has served as the Delaware County Sheriff since 2013. He said he desires a second term in office, because he wants to continue to be involved in the community that he, and his wife, Karen, calls home.
I like the small county atmosphere better than I did the big city of Denver," Moore said. "That's why I moved from Denver. This is my home, I have a particular interest in the Sheriff's Office because this has been my lifelong profession.
"I think I've got at least four more years in me. I want to be able to provide and continue to provide the professional law enforcement service to the people of Delaware county, who, after this lawsuit and everything, deserve to have a professional sheriff's office working for them."
Shambaugh said he wants to pursue the job of county sheriff because he has dedicated his life to law enforcement and because he cares about what happens in Delaware county.
“I choose to live here in Delaware County, I don’t want to move away and work anywhere else," Shambaugh said. "I’ve always wanted to be the sheriff of Delaware county.
"Fourteen years ago, I told my wife [Robin] that I needed to do something to prepare myself to be sheriff. When I asked myself what the best way that would be, I thought I needed to have administrative experience, so I ran for the position of Chief of Police in Jay and I won, and I have been unopposed since.”
A member of the Cherokee tribe, Shambaugh began his career with the Jay Police Department. He is currently the police chief, a position he has filled for the past 14 years.
Shambaugh became the police chief, because he believed he needed a background in administration to help him if he was eventually elected Delaware County Sheriff.
In addition to his time at JPD, Shambaugh has also worked for the Delaware County District Attorney's office as an investigator, and served as the undersheriff for the Delaware County Sheriff's office.
To read more about Shambaugh, persons interested may visit http://bit.ly/shambaughprofile. To read more about Moore, persons interested may visit http://bit.ly/mooreprofile.
• County Commissioner No. 2 - Gus Fisher (D) will face off against Russell Martin (R) for the seat currently held by Tom Sanders on the Delaware County County Commission.
As a fifth-generation Delaware countian, Fisher said he cares about the things happening in his corner of northeast Oklahoma.
Fisher said his decision to run comes after thinking about the job for 15 years, and gaining experience in a variety of areas.
He said a desire to build strong strong relationships between county officials, the commission and county employees is one thing that sets him apart from other candidates for the office.
Fisher and his wife, Angel, have two children: Daughter Bailey is married to Tyler Hulion, and son Weaver, 16, is a student at Jay High School. The Fishers have have three grandchildren, Asher, 8, Reef, 5, Stella, who was born this past Mother's Day.
Fisher has worked a field appraiser in the Delaware County Assessor's office for the past two years.
Prior to that he worked on the road as a welder, heavy equipment operator and as a project supervisor. He began welding out of high school, after attending welding school in Tulsa.
He also owns and operates a small construction business, Gus Fisher Construction, that specializes in metal or fabricated buildings.
Martin said a desire to fix problems - not just add to them - led him to seek the district 2 commissioner seat.
This is the second time Martin, 31, has pursued the office of county commissioner. He ran, that time as a Democrat, losing against against current District 2 commissioner, Tom Sanders, during the 2012 election.
This time he is running as a Republican, a change he said comes after numerous supporters expressed disappointment for not being able to vote for him in the primary.
A 2004 graduate of Jay High School, Martin believes his experience working for one of the three county road districts, as well as his own research, has given him an understanding of what the county commissioner role entails.
Since high school, Martin has obtained his commercial driver's licence, working as a driver for J.B. Hunt and as a member of the District 3 road crew.
While working for District 3, he ran a grader first for county commissioners Dave Kendrick, and Danny Duncan. He is now a driver and night dispatcher for Simmons Foods, contracted through J.B. Hunt.
Martin has a 4-year-old daughter, Paysley Hoover. He has been in a long-term dating relationship Ashley Bacon for several years.
To read more about Fisher, persons interested may visit http://bit.ly/FisherCommisioner. To read more about Martin, persons interested may visit http://bit.ly/MartinCommissioner.
• Oaks Public Schools School Board - Three candidates are vying for an unexpired term for Office No. 5: Christopher Pitts, Mitch Christie and Danielle Twist Braddy.
House of Representative:
• District 5 - Josh West (R-Grove) will face Matt Nowlin (D-Monkey Island) on the ballot. The seat, currently held by Rep. Doug Cox (R-Grove) is being vacated due to term limits.
As a father and veteran, West knows what it's like to serve others. The desire to serve has led him to file for the District 5 Oklahoma House seat.
West describes himself as a conservative Republican, who upholds the constitution.
If elected, he said people will continue to see a structured, principled leader who knows how to face adversities.
West is a 1995 graduate of Grove High School. He attended Missouri Valley College on a football scholarship in Marshall, Missouri, before joining the U.S. Army.
West served tours of duty in Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2003 he was injured during a mission. He sustained injuries to both legs and his abdomen. He was medically retired in 2005, but then spent much of the next year developing training protocol for military police during basic and advanced individual training. West's military honors include the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
West and his wife, Elizabeth - also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force - have four children: Ethan, Walker, Katie and Aubrey. West's parents, Kelly and Darlene West, reside east of Grove.
The family attends Elk River Baptist Church. West, who works as a fieldman for Simmons Foods, has served as a youth football and baseball coach in Grove.
Nowlin has one simple motto in life - people come first.
That motto led the Grove native to decide to seek the Oklahoma House District 5 seat.
Nowlin has centered his campaign on one idea people before things. In fact, the statement "I plan to put the people first in our state government," is printed on his business cards.
A 2001 graduate of Grove High School, Nowlin was born and raised in Grove. In May 2015, he graduated from the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M with his associates degree. He is currently pursuing a business degree at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa, and is considering adding a pre-law minor with the possibilities of going to law school.
Nowlin and his wife, Jennifer, a cosmetologist at Illusions Day Spa and Salon in Grove, have one daughter, 7-month-old Elizabeth. The family attends church at St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Grove.
Nowlin is the son of Debra Morris of Jay and Mike Nowlin of Vinita. He is the grandson of Gerry Morris of Grove.
Before moving to Monkey Island, Nowlin served for four years as a member of the Jay Fire Department. He is also a 2015 graduate of Leadership Grove, a program offered through the Grove Area Chamber of Commerce.
To read more about West, persons interested may visit http://bit.ly/WestDistrict5. To read more about Nowlin, persons interested may visit http://bit.ly/NowlinDistrict5.
• District 7 - Rep. Ben Loring (D-Miami), who is finishing his first term, has filed for re-election. He will face challenger Hoguen Apperson (R-Grove) in November.
A chance to be part of the process, and a desire help the state he calls home, leads Loring to once again seek election to the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
"The state of Oklahoma is heading in the wrong direction," Loring said. "There are signs it's beginning to turn around, and I'd like to be part of that process."
Loring said his desire to return to Oklahoma City also stems from his enjoyment of being in public service.
"There's no better feeling, which is selfish in my point of view, in doing something that helps other people," Loring said. "I get to do that in this job - I think that it's something everybody should strive to do on their own."
Loring and his wife, Barbara, have been married for 32 years. The couple have two adult sons, David, who resides in Edmond, and Ian, a student at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. Both sons were Eagle Scouts and served in the U.S. Army.
Prior to serving in the legislature, Loring worked for 20 years in the Ottawa County District Attorney's Office. During much of the last 12 years, Loring was responsible for overseeing the cases which involved juveniles. He also serves as the acting city attorney for the City of Miami.
When he's not working, Loring and his wife are working to restore a farm outside of Miami. The couple plan to raise animals and fruit trees on the property.
Apperson said a desire to make a difference, and to change things for the better led him to seek the Oklahoma House District 7 seat.
While this is Apperson's first time to seek public office, is is not his first encounter with the legislative process.
In 2014, Apperson managed his grandfather's primary bid for U.S. Representative Markwayne Mullin's seat. Apperson is the first republican to seek the district 7 seat in at least 20 years.
Apperson, 24, is the sixth generation of his family to reside in Delaware county on the family's ranch, Circle R Farms.
The 5,000 acre ranch, located in the northern part of the county was founded in 1902. The family currently runs 1,000 head of angus influenced commercial cattle breeding stock.
Apperson, a 2012 graduate of Grove High School, attended Oklahoma State University studying political science and agribusiness.
He is the son of Charlie and Terra Apperson and the grandson of Darrel and Carol Robertson.
To read more about Loring, persons interested may visit http://bit.ly/LoringDistrict7. To read more about Apperson, persons interested may visit http://bit.ly/AppersonDistrict7.
• District 86 - Rep. Will Fourkiller (D-Stillwell), will face two challengers: Rhonda Hopkins (R-Rose) and Shannon Grimes (L-Peggs) during the general election.
• District 1 - John L. Myers (D-Vinita) will face Micheal Bergstrom (R-Big Cabin) for the seat currently held by Sen. Charles Wyrick (D-Fairland). Wyrick is not seeking the office due to term limits.
As a veterinarian, Myers has cared for many animals - and their owners - for more than 40 years.
Because of that, Myers said, he's had an opportunity to develop relationships people within his district's borders - which led him to seek the Oklahoma Senate District 1 seat.
Myers and his wife, Debbi, have been married for 44 years. Myers calls his wife his "sterling accomplishment."
The couple have three adult children. Daughter Amanda is a mechanical engineer in the Tulsa area, son Matt owns a marketing firm in the Washington D.C. area, and daughter Meg is the head of the master's degree program in the public administration department at the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa. The Myers also have three granddaughters.
Since returning to Vinita, the couple have owned and operated Pecan Drive Veterinary Clinic, a large animal medical practice.
While Myers is the sole veterinarian, he contracts out with other vets as needed, depending upon campaign demands.
Myers believes the skills he's learned, in developing his veterinary practice, will help him as a member of the state government.
Education. That one word sums up why Bergstrom decided to seek the Oklahoma Senate District 1 seat.
Bergstrom and his wife Robin reside near Big Cabin between Adair and Langley. The couple have four children, three daughters and a son, as well as 10 grandchildren.
Bergstrom moved to Oklahoma 20 years ago. For the past 17 years, he has worked as an english teacher and yearbook advisor at Blue Jacket High School, in Blue Jacket. He also serves as the advisor for the chess club at the high school.
An elder at his church, Bethlehem Lutheran near Adair, Bergstrom is a member of the Mayes County Republicans and the Professional Oklahoma Educators organization.
Bergstrom said if he wins, he will resign from his teaching job - in order to devote his full attention to the legislative process.
"If I do a job, it will be full-time," Bergstrom said. "I'll be completely committed to it. I'll invest in things. I'll write legislation. I'll find solutions that will work and pursue them. I'll be a public servant."
If elected, Bergstrom said he find ways to solve the problems facing Oklahomans, including those involving education.
"I don't know all the answers, but I'll invest [my time] and try to figure the best ways out to deal with it," Bergstrom said, adding that he will also work to find ways to promote economic development in northeast Oklahoma.
To read more about Myers, persons interested may visit http://bit.ly/MyersDistrict1. To read more about Bergstrom, persons interested may visit http://bit.ly/BergstromDistrict1.
• District 3 - Sen. Wayne Shaw (R-Grove) will face challenger Rhonda Cox (D-Peggs) during the November election.
Shaw, who is completing his first term in office, hopes to continue serving his constituents in the Oklahoma Senate District 3.
He desires a second term in office, he said, because it takes time to learn how to navigate the inner workings of the state legislature.
"It takes time to learn the system and become effective," Shaw said. "It feels like I've spent the first four years working and learning. To be productive, I think the best years are still ahead of me."
If voters return him to the senate, Shaw said he plans to introduce a piece of legislation that would bar physicians from asking patients if they have guns in their home.
He would also like to introduce additional legislation that impact the criminal justice system, including a bill that would require an inmate to begin repaying fines within 90 days of their release from prison, rather than the current 180 days.
He also supports legislation which would allow inmates who are serving an 85 percent crime to begin earning credits toward release immediately upon incarceration, rather than once they serve their minimum sentence required by law.
Shaw moved to Grove in 1997, to assume the senior pastorate at First Christian Church in Grove. He served in that role until January 2013, stepping down as his first Senate session got underway.
Shaw and his wife, Anna, have been married for 48-1/2 years. They have three adult children: Teresa and her husband, Dan Raymond, reside in Marshfield, Missouri; while sons Timothy and wife, Carolyn, and Douglas, reside in the Tulsa area. The Shaws also have five grandchildren.
As an educator, working with first generation college students Cox has watched as decisions made in Oklahoma City has made a difference in the lives of her students.
At times, she admits, the decisions left her frustrated and desiring a change. Because of that, Cox decided to run for the Oklahoma Senate District 3 seat.
A life-long educator, Cox first worked for 20 years at Rogers State University in Claremore, working with first generation low-income college students in a variety of programs.
For the past two years, she has worked as a reading tutor within the Peggs School System.
If elected, Cox hope become a voice for people in her district who need to have someone stand up, and promote their message on a state level.
Cox and her husband, John, have been married since 1994. Together they have raised five children and have two grandchildren. The couple attend a nondenominational church. Her husband was the 2014 Democratic Nominee for State Schools Superintendent.
Cox grew up on a rural farm between Adair and Pryor. A lifelong resident of northeast Oklahoma, she has spent the last 21 years living in Cherokee county.
To read more about Shaw, persons interested may visit http://bit.ly/ShawDistrict3. To read more about Cox, persons interested may visit http://bit.ly/CoxDistrict3.
• District 2 - U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Westville), who is completing his second term of office will face Joshua Harris-Till (D-Tahlequah) and John McCarthy (I- Monkey Island) during the general election.
• U.S. Senate - Sen. James Lankford (R-Edmond), who is completing former Sen. Tom Coburn's final term of office, is seeking his first full term in office. He faces Sean Braddy (I-Norman), Mike Workman (D-Tulsa), Mark T. Beard (I) and Robert T. Murphy (L-Norman).
• President/Vice President - Donald J. Trump and Michael R. Pence (R), Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine (D) and Gary Johnson and Bill Weld (L).
For more information, persons interested may contact Dixie Smith, Delaware County Election Board secretary, at 918-253-8762 or visit www.elections.ok.gov.