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Political notebook: Broyles challenges Inhofe to 25 debates

Political notebook: Broyles challenges Inhofe to 25 debates

Jim Inhofe and Abby Broyles (copy)

Inhofe (left) and Broyles

Abby Broyles, who on Tuesday night officially became Oklahoma Democrats’ U.S. Senate nominee, says she wants 25 virtual town hall debates with Republican incumbent Jim Inhofe.

Inhofe, seeking a fifth full term, seems unlikely to agree to more than one or two, if any, but Broyles continues to try to flush him out with strong rhetoric.

The written challenge, in fact, is addressed to “Whomever is in charge of the campaign officing out of a defense contractor’s office paying rent that is substantially lower than fair market value” and includes a two-page summation of why Broyles considers Inhofe unfit for office.

“We believe Oklahoma voters should have the opportunity to hear directly from the senator, side by side with his opponent, and let him explain … why he deserves another six-year term,” the letter says.

Hanging chads: The Oklahoma State Election Board says about 81% of the ballots cast in last week’s primary elections were cast in person on election day.

That’s pretty high compared to some states, especially for the five that conduct elections entirely or mostly by mail, but not for Oklahoma. About 90% of ballots were cast in person on election day during the 2016 and 2018 primaries.

• At 85, Inhofe will be the oldest person on the Oklahoma ballot in November, but he is not the only octogenarian still in a race.

Margie Alfonso, who is a few weeks younger than Inhofe, is in the Aug. 25 House District 79 Republican runoff, and 81-year-old Democrat Mike Sullivan is on the HD 3 general election ballot.

Sullivan is opposed by 67-year-old Rick West, making them by far the oldest match up of the 2020 state races.

• Sullivan, incidentally, served two terms in the House in the 1960s, and West served one term from 2017-18, but they are not the only former House members attempting comebacks.

Danny Williams, who turns 71 at the end of July, served in the House as a Democrat before leaving for an unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign in 1994. He is favored to win back his old seat — HD 28 — as a Republican.

Also, Beggs Democrat Steve Kouplen, who served 10 years in the House before losing to Republican Logan Phillips in 2018, is trying to recapture that seat.

• Nine runoff elections are scheduled for Aug. 25, all Republican. They include the 5th Congressional District, five state Senate seats and three House seats.

Tulsa-area runoffs include Senate District 35, House District 71 and HD 79.

July 31 is the last day for new registrations prior to that election.

Bottom lines: Tulsa’s unemployment rate fell from 15.1% to 12.9% last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as the number of unemployed in the Metropolitan Statistical Area fell by about 8,500. … The Oklahoma Tax Commission is accepting applications for new tag agencies in Washington, Ottawa and Cherokee Counties. Call 405-521-2519 or email for details.

Featured gallery: Fourth of July celebrations go off with a bang in Tulsa area

Randy Krehbiel 918-581-8365

Twitter: @rkrehbiel

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