County fire tax passes; Republicans dominate state elections

by Jordan Green

Kay County voters approved a new 1/3-cent sales tax to pay for equipment and training for county fire departments.

With 90% of voting precincts reporting at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, 56.19% of votes (6,307) were in favor of the tax, while 43.81% (4,918) were against it, according to unofficial results from the Oklahoma State Election Board.

The passage of the tax follows a contentious campaign in which Ponca City officials opposed the tax, which was largely supported by other county municipalities and fire department officials.

Kildare Fire Chief Travis Harris and other volunteer firefighters celebrated their victory Tuesday night at their fire station in eastern Kay County.

“We are very pleased and glad the residents of Kay County saw the need, and we are glad they supported us,” Harris said. “We appreciate the show of their support.”

Blackwell Fire Chief Cory Hanebrink echoed those sentiments.

“I think the citizens of Kay County spoke loudly tonight,” Hanebrink said. “I would just like to thank everybody for going to the polls and voting, not necessarily for or against it, just going out and voting. We appreciate all the support.”

Ponca City Commissioner Robert Bodick, whose Facebook post in opposition to the tax went viral, did not respond to two calls from The Journal-Tribune on Tuesday night.

The tax will go into effect in early 2023. For a complete story, see the Nov. 16 edition of The Journal-Tribune.


Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly elected Republicans to statewide and federal offices during Tuesday’s midterm elections. Here’s a breakdown of how the races went. All vote totals are unofficial results from the Oklahoma State Election Board, with 95% of precincts reporting as of 10 p.m. Tuesday.

More than 1 million residents voted.


Incumbent Republican Kevin Stitt retained his seat amid opposition from Democrat Joy Hofmeister, the state’s superintendent of public instruction. Hofmeister, a former Republican, switched parties to run against Stitt.

Stitt had 55.99% of the vote, or 613,492 votes, while Hofmeister had 41.26%, or 452,082 votes.

Libertarian Natalie Bruno had 1.41%, and Independent Ervin Yen had 1.35%.


Matt Pinnell, the Republican officeholder, won a second term of office against Democratic challenger Melinda L. Alizadeh-Fard. Pinnell won 65.45%, or 713,306 votes, while Alizadeh-Fard won 30.47%, or 332,067.

Libertarian Chris Powell won 4.09%, or 44,552 votes.


Republican Gentner Drummond won 74.58% of the vote, or 759,100 votes, while Libertarian Lynda Steele won 25.72%, or 262,902 votes.


Republican Todd Russ won 65.34%, or 708,066, while Democrat Charles De Coune won 30.13%, or 326,510. Libertarian Gregory J. Sadler won 4.53%, or 49,056.


Republican Ryan Walters won 57.3%, or 623,598, while Democrat Jena Nelson won 42.7%, or 464,758.


Republican Leslie Osborn won 66.12% of the vote, or 714,933 votes, while Democrat Jack Henderson won 28.89%, or 312,399. Libertarian Will Daugherty won 4.99%, or 53,965.


Republican Kim David won 64.03%, or 692,007 votes, while Democrat Margaret Warigia Bowman won 30.36%, or 328,120. Independent Don Underwood won 5.61%, or 60,653.


Republican incumbent James Lankford won another term to the U.S. Senate, beating Democratic challenger Madison Horn handily. Lankford won 64.86% of the vote, or 709,211 votes, while Horn won 31.55%, or 344,929. Libertarian Kenneth Blevins won 1.78%, or 19,468, while Independent Michael Delaney won 1.81%, or 19,840.


Republican Congressman Markwayne Mullin, a member of the U.S. House, won the race to succeed longtime U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe, who is retiring. Mullin will complete the rest of the senior senator’s term.

Mullin bested Democratic challenger Kendra Horn, a former Oklahoma representative in the U.S. House. Mullin had 62.39% of the vote, or 682,067, while Horn had 34.62%, or 378,523. Independent Ray Woods won 1.48%, or 16,182, and Libertarian Robert Murphy won 1.5%, or 16,440.


Republican incumbent Frank Lucas secured another term of office, beating Democratic challenger Jeremiah Ross by a wide margin. Lucas won 75.55%, or 144,253 votes, while Ross won 24.45%, or 46,694.

District Three includes Kay County.


All state Supreme Court justice and judges on the Court of Civil Appeals were retained by a vote of at least 60% or more.