Will Cubbage will be the Republican candidate in an upcoming special election to fill the vacant District 1 Osage County Commissioner position.

Cubbage, a Bowring-area rancher and bank officer, was chosen by 71 percent of the voters in a Feb. 14 party primary that pitted him against Randall Jones of Pawhuska, a former longtime county employee who was making his fourth bid for the District 1 Commissioner’s seat.

The primary victory puts Cubbage in an April 4 special election where he will face Jerry Howerton, a Pawhuska Democrat who has served as District 1’s interim Comission member since August — following the mid-term retirement of 72-year-old Commissioner Bob Jackson.

In the 2014 general election, Jones received more than 1,700 votes but lost to Jackson by less than 50 votes to incumbent Jackson, a Democrat from Grainola. Jones also lost to Jackson in a 2010 race and, before that, had been defeated in an attempt to unseat his former boss, longtime District 1 Commissioner Clarence Brantley.

In last week’s primary, Cubbage received 375 votes — or 71 percent of the 529 that were cast. Jones was named on 154 ballots, representing 29 percent of the total.

Cubbage, who was a former agricultural educator with the county’s OSU extension office,a former ag educator

The Republican nominee called his primary election victory “very humbling,” but said he had no real cause — or time — for celebration.

“There’s not a lot of time (until April 4),” Cubbage said, adding he intends to continue visiting with citizens in each of the District 1 communities.

Cubbage, who worked as an ag educator in Osage County’s OSU Extension Office for nine years, said he’s expecting to draw bipartisan support from voters “who recognize that there is a need for change in county government.”

The first-time candidate said he will be depending on people he has visited with on the campaign trail to help him gain additional votes from those he has not yet been able to meet.

“We have an excellent network of supporters in all the District 1 communities and fully expect this grassroots part of the campaign to continue to be a major contributor through the end of the campaign,” Cubbage said.