Primary election scheduled Tuesday

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

Osage County voters — Democrats, Republican and Libertarians — will have races to ponder Tuesday, June 28, in the primary elections.

Democrats will decide which of retiring Sheriff Ty Koch’s top-ranking officers — Chief Criminal Investigator Charlie Cartwright or Undersheriff Lou Ann Brown — should be voted into November’s general election. Koch announced earlier this year that he intended to retire when his current term expires in December. He has been with the OCSO for 25 years and began service as sheriff in 2005.

Cartwright, a longtime Fairfax resident, has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience — nearly all of it gained in Osage County. He has been with the OCSO since 1997. and had been the jail administator before becoming an investigator over a decade ago. Cartwright has been chief criminal investigator, as well as chief deputy, since 2005. He also served two terms as a Fairfax town councilman, which included five years as mayor. He and his wife, Terri, also operated the Fairfax EMS and ambulance service for eight years.

Brown of Skiatook has been with the local sheriff’s office since 1997 and has served the past 11 years as undersheriff. She has been active in the Osage County’s Democratic Party and involved with numerous area boards and commissions. Late last year, Brown was named by county commissioners to a specially-formed committee studying the Osage County Courthouse situation and the possibility of supplementing the county’s office space needs by using buildings it already owns.

The victor of the Democratic primary for sheriff will face Republican Eddie Virden in the general election. Virden has around 25 year of law enforcement experience in Bartlesville, as well as Osage and Washington Counties.

Many area Republicans will have a state representative race to contend with as District 36 incumbent Sean Roberts of Hominy is facing a primary challenge from Skiatook businessman Chuck Bretanus. Former Pawhuska City Council member Cathy Ross, a Democrat, will meet the Republican winner in November.

Republicans in Osage County Commission District 2 are to choose between two candidates — Kevin Paslay and Joel Blankenship. The winner will face Democratic incumbent Scott Hilton in November.

District 3 U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas is seeking his 11th legislative term — his eighth from District 3. The Republican incumbent drew a intraparty challenge from Desiree Brown of Hennessey.

Robert T. Murphy and Dax Ewbank are Libertarian candidates for U.S. senator.

Primary runoffs, if required, would be held Aug. 23. The 2016 general election is Nov. 8.

Andrea Conner, secretary of the Osage County Election Board, said sample ballots are now available on the Oklahoma State Election Board’s Online Voter Tool at Voters can view Sample Ballots online or at Osage County Election Board, located at 630 Kihekah Ave., during regular office hours, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Conner said. For more information, contact the local Election Board at (918) 287-3036.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.