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Nominees set



A city council member and a former state legislator will face off to see who fills the vacant Oklahoma County Commission board seat.

After all precincts reported in tonight, Oklahoma City Councilwoman Willa Johnson held off a crowded field to win the Democratic nomination, while Forrest Claunch easily took the Republican nomination.

Claunch, the former member of the state House of Representatives from Midwest City, coasted to victory. He gained 1,558 votes to 509 for his only GOP challenger, former Jones Mayor Bill Hoag. Claunch served for several years in the Legislature before term limits forced him to leave.

Johnson's win was narrow, beating former state legislator Debbie Blackburn by 80 votes. The final tally was 2,119 for Johnson and 2,039 for Blackburn.

Fellow Oklahoma City Councilwoman Ann Simank came in third with 1,422 votes, followed by another former state legislator Bart Bates with 324.

Community activist and teacher Frannie Bates gained 92 votes.

Johnson and Claunch will now vie for the general vote on Sept. 11 for the District 1 county commission seat. The office was vacated by Democrat Jim Roth when he was appointed to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission by Gov. Brad Henry.


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