Number of candidates running for U.S. House in Oklahoma fewest in the last 10 years

Welcome to the Friday, June 14, Brew. 

By: Mercedes Yanora

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Number of candidates running for U.S. House in Oklahoma fewest in the last 10 years
  2. Eight new ballot measures certified in five states 
  3. Introducing Did You Know? A weekly exploration of political facts and trivia

Number of candidates running for U.S. House in Oklahoma fewest in the last 10 years  

Continuing our coverage of statewide primaries, today we are going to dive into elections in Oklahoma. The state is holding primaries for congressional, state executive, state legislative, and local offices on June 18. If no candidate receives a majority of votes, the top-two vote getters will advance to the primary runoff on Aug. 27. Oklahoma is one of nine states to use primary runoffs. The local elections we are covering do not have a primary runoff. 

Why it matters at the national level

U.S. House 

  • Republicans represent all five U.S. House seats in Oklahoma. 
  • Republicans have a 218-213 majority in the U.S. House, with four vacancies.  
  • One of Oklahoma’s House districts is a primary election battleground: Oklahoma’s 4th Congressional District

Primary elections

U.S. House

Eighteen candidates are running for Oklahoma’s five U.S. House districts, including six Democrats and 12 Republicans. No seats are open this year, meaning all incumbents are running for re-election. One House seat was open in 2022, 2018, and 2014, respectively. No seats were open in 2020 and 2016.

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  • The total number of candidates running for the U.S. House in Oklahoma in 2024 is the fewest in the last 10 years. 
  • Seven candidates—two Democrats and five Republicans—are running for the 4th Congressional District, the most candidates running for a seat this year.
  • Five primaries—two Democratic and three Republican—are contested this year. Four primaries were contested in 2022 and six were contested in 2020.
  • Three incumbents—all Republicans—are in contested primaries. Three incumbents were in contested primaries in 2022, 2020, 2018, and 2014, respectively. Five incumbents were in contested primaries in 2016.
  • The 3rd Congressional District is guaranteed to Republicans because no Democrats will appear on the ballot. 

Oklahoma State Legislature

There are 125 seats up for election this year in the Oklahoma State Legislature—24 in the Senate and 101 in the House. There are 51 total contested primaries in 2024 (six Democratic and 45 Republican). This is similar to numbers from the past two cycles (49 in 2022 and 52 in 2020).

Incumbents facing primary challengers follows a similar trend. In 2024, 29 incumbents face primary challengers, a rate of 28.2%. That figure was 26 (24.8%) in 2022 and 33 (28.9%) in 2020.

The decade-high for both contested primaries and incumbents facing primary challengers was in 2018. That year, there were 117 contested primaries (49 Democratic and 68 Republican), and 37 incumbents faced primary challengers, a rate of 45.1%.

Oklahoma legislators are limited to serving 12 total years in either or both chambers. Four members of both the Senate and House are term-limited in 2024.

State executive 

One state executive office is up for election: corporation commissioner.

Local elections

Municipal: We are covering primaries in:

  • Canadian County – clerk, sheriff, county commission, and court clerk;
  • Cleveland County – clerk, sheriff, county commission, and court clerk; 
  • Oklahoma County – clerk, sheriff, county commission, and court clerk;
  • Osage County – clerk, sheriff, county commission, and court clerk; and
  • Tulsa County – clerk, sheriff, county commissioner, and court clerk.

As part of our drive to expand our local elections coverage, we’ve added local elections that go beyond our current coverage of the nation’s biggest cities, school districts, and state capitals. Oklahoma is one of 20 states with this added coverage in 2024. On Tuesday, there will be 112 local races with 271 candidates running.

Oklahoma and two other states — Georgia and Virginia — are holding primary elections on June 18.

Keep reading

Eight new ballot measures certified in five states  

So far this year, 118 statewide ballot measures have been certified for the ballot in 35 states. An average of 112 measures were certified at this point between 2012 and 2022. An average of 157 statewide measures were on the ballot in even-numbered years from 2012 to 2022. 

Here’s an update on the ballot measure activity during the past two weeks.

Election officials certified eight ballot measures in five states—Arizona, California, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and South Dakota:

Campaigns submitted signatures for seven initiatives: one in California, one in Idaho, four in Missouri, and one in Nevada.

Those measures are pending signature verification or other pre-certification actions. In Massachusetts, election officials verified enough signatures for six indirect ballot initiatives to appear before the state legislature:

In Massachusetts, initiated state statutes are indirect. This means the legislature had the option to pass the initiatives outright. Because the legislature did not act by the May 1 deadline, campaigns have until July 3 to gather an additional 12,429 signatures in order to qualify for the November ballot. 

The most recent signature deadline for citizen initiatives was May 29 in Michigan. The deadline was for indirect initiated state statutes. None of the campaigns filed signatures. Signatures for initiated constitutional amendments are due on July 8.

The next signature deadline is June 21 in Montana. There are seven initiatives that are still gathering signatures. These include initiatives to provide a state constitutional right to abortion, enact top-four primaries, require a majority voting system, and change hunting regulations on private land. 

The following chart shows the number of ballot measures certified each week of an even-numbered year.

Keep reading 

Did you know that North Dakota is the only state that does not require voters to register?

Click here to learn more about voter registration laws and policies. We’ll be back next week with another edition of Ballotpedia’s Did You Know?