U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin has defeated three challengers and won her party's nomination in the Oklahoma governor's race.
In November, Fallin will face the winner of the Democratic primary race between Attorney General Drew Edmondson and Lt. Gov. Jari Askins.
Fallin flew to Washington before the polls opened Tuesday to cast a vote on a military funding bill and wasn't able to vote Tuesday.
Fallin held off a pesky challenge from conservative state Sen. Randy Brogdon of Owasso. Also in the Republican race were Oklahoma City-area businessmen Robert Hubbard and Roger Jackson.
A 20-year veteran of Oklahoma politics, Fallin raised more than $2.4 million for the race, more than eight times as much as Brogdon.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The economy and anti-incumbent sentiment were on the minds of voters who headed to the polls in Oklahoma on Tuesday to pick candidates for on open governor's seat.
Democratic Gov. Brad Henry is term limited and cannot seek another term, which set off a series of political dominoes in the state.
Attorney General Drew Edmondson and Lt. Gov. Jari Askins have given up relatively safe seats to seek the Democratic nomination. On the Republican side, U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin is facing state Sen. Randy Brogdon of Owasso and two lesser-funded candidates, Oklahoma City-area businessmen Roger Jackson and Robert Hubbard.
Voters also decided nominees in races for U.S. Senate and Congress, state House and Senate, and eight statewide posts, including five open seats. Polls closed at 7 p.m. and results were still coming in.
Retired Department of Defense worker James Sieber, 65, said he was most concerned about the economy as he voted for Fallin in the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore.
"It is the economy and the direction this economy is going and the need to change that direction," Sieber said.
Donnie Andrews, 49, a Moore police officer, expressed a similar sentiment and also voted for Fallin.
"I was planning on retiring, but not with the economy the way it is," he said.
Ken Patrick, 56, a retired General Motors worker, said he is a longtime Republican with a bit of an independent streak. He said he voted for Oklahoma City businessman Roger Jackson and expressed displeasure with all incumbents.
"As far as I'm concerned we should throw them all out of office."
The state Election Board expected about 25 percent of the state's 2 million registered voters to turn out, about average for a set of midterm races.
Fallin, who is vacating her congressional seat, was unable to vote for herself Tuesday after being called back to Washington for a vote on a supplemental funding bill for the war in Afghanistan.
Fallin was the first woman and first Republican ever elected lieutenant governor in Oklahoma, a post she held for 12 years before running in 2006 for Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District seat. She has been the favorite on the GOP side since she announced her candidacy but has been battling a pesky challenge from Brogdon.
A conservative state senator from Owasso, Brogdon has embraced the tea party and attacked Fallin in television ads that accuse her of "liberal compromises" for things such as her 2008 vote to bail out the nation's financial industry.
On the Democratic side, Edmonson is a Vietnam veteran who has served four terms as attorney general. The Edmondson name is a staple in Oklahoma politics. His father is a former U.S. congressman, his uncle was elected governor in 1958, and his brother is chief justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
Edmondson has raised the most money among all the candidates, amassing nearly $2.6 million in contributions through July 12, according to the most recent campaign finance reports.
Askins also has impressive political credentials, having served as a special district judge in Stephens County, a member of the pardon and parole board and 12 years in the Statehouse before she defeated then-House Speaker Todd Hiett for lieutenant governor in 2006. Askins also enjoyed a last-minute endorsement from former University of Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer, a state icon who gave underdog Brad Henry a boost in his 2002 governor's race.
In the U.S. Senate race, incumbent Republican Tom Coburn easily fended off two primary challengers. The Democratic Party primary featured political newcomer Mark Myles of Oklahoma City and perennial candidate Jim Rogers of Midwest City.
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