2022 Midterm Election Profiles

Compiled by E.B. Thompson and Charles Betzler

Governor

Kevin Stitt (R-Incumbent) The 49-year-old businessman grew up in Norman and graduated from Oklahoma State University. He is known for starting Gateway Mortgage Group in 2000. He and his wife Sarah have 6 children and have been married for 23 years. On his website, Stitt says that in his 4 years as governor, his “fiscally conservative leadership helped the state build its largest savings account in history, funded common education at historic highs, and cut taxes for all Oklahomans.”

Joy Hofmeister (D) is the Democratic candidate for Governor and has served as the Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction since 2015. Hofmeister registered as a Democrat on October 7, 2021, when she announced her 2022 bid for governor of Oklahoma. She was previously registered as a Republican. From Hofmeister’s website: “Joy Hofmeister is running for governor because she knows firsthand how the values of faith, family, education, and hard work can bring people together to improve our lives. All of Joy’s children live here in Oklahoma, a blessing she will work to make possible for every Oklahoma family.”

Natalie Bruno (L) A marketing executive, Bruno’s website states that her focuses are school choice, better healthcare, 2nd Amendment Rights, equality, and veterans’ issues. She has been vocal about her opposition to virtually all new taxes. Bruno, 37, is married and has a blended family, including 6 children, and lives in Edmond. 

Ervin Stone Yen (I) 67-year-old Yen was born in Taiwan, moved to the U.S. when he was 5, attended OU medical school, and became an anesthesiologist. He is married and has 5 children. Yen was a state senator for District 40 (as a Republican) from 2014-2018 and has described himself as “a moderate conservative with pro-choice views.” He says he’s running to fix healthcare in Oklahoma, increase teacher pay, and revamp funding for public education by equally distributing school funds by ZIP code. 

Lieutenant Governor

Matt Pinnell (R-Incumbent) Tulsan Matt Pinnell has become known for spearheading the push to create a new state brand and has been “heavily involved in efforts to improve Oklahoma’s state parks and welcome centers,” according to The Oklahoman. He also helps promote the Oklahoma Fishing Trail and Route 66. Pinnell is 43 and has 4 children with wife Lisa.

Melinda Alizadeh-Fard (D) is a 5th-generation Oklahoman. Her father served in the U.S. Navy, and Ms. Alizadeh-Fard was born in Norfolk, Virginia. Her late father was from Shawnee and her mother is from Wewoka. She is a private-practice attorney who specializes in immigration law. She is also a retired social worker for the State of Oklahoma and a former Administrative Law Judge with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. “I am running for Lieutenant Governor to restore transparency and accountability to our Government. My priorities for Oklahoma include improving public education in our state, keeping our people healthy, and finding cures, as well as respecting all Oklahomans, and recognizing the Sovereignty of our tribes.”

Chris Powell (L) Powell, a Midwest City-born former Marine, Bethany city councilor, 911 dispatcher, and Oklahoma Libertarian Party Chair, has based his platform on terminating the office of Lieutenant Governor itself. Powell has said that the office is unnecessary and that by doing away with it he could save the state a million dollars, according to an interview with Bartlesville Radio. 

Attorney General

Gentner F. Drummond (R) Drummond, a former F-15 fighter pilot, is an attorney, Osage County rancher, and businessman from Tulsa. He and wife, Wendy, have a blended family of six children and five grandchildren. Drummond is an aggressive litigator experienced in both civil and criminal law who has said, if elected, “he would work with Oklahoma’s tribes in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s McGirt v. Oklahoma ruling, which led to roughly half the state being affirmed as tribal reservations,” according to The Oklahoman. He “vows to protect Oklahomans’ gun rights, fight ‘overreach’ by the federal government and clear the state’s backlog of rape kits.”

Lynda Steele (L) Steele is a former Oklahoma National Guard service member from Warr Acres (Oklahoma City). Her website declares her intention to provide “fair trials and affordable representation” if elected, and to “put ethics first in a court of law.” A “blue-collar woman with political dreams,” Steele is not an attorney, but is a self-titled “Court Watcher.” 

U.S. Senate

James Lankford (R—Incumbent) Lankford, of Edmond, was first elected to the position in 2014 and previously served as U.S. Representative for Oklahoma’s Fifth Congressional District and director of the Falls Creek Christian Camp. He supports expanding fencing on the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas and opposes federal efforts to codify abortion rights. He voted against legislation to expand background checks and provide federal grants for states to implement red flag laws. He calls himself a fiscal conservative who wants to reduce the national debt. 

Kenneth D. Blevins (L) Blevins is a welder and pipefitter in Sand Springs. He says he “understands the needs of the most: the average working American providing for their family.” He “advocates for (and works for) the local family-owned businesses that characterize our nation” and “knows the role of a representative and statesmen is first and foremost one of protection…from local, state, and federal government infringement.”

Michael L. Delaney (I) A self-described progressive, Delaney is a software designer and engineer from Little Axe. His platform includes climate change, decriminalizing addiction, adhering to the equal rights of all people, legislating “sound, safe, and intelligent immigration policy,” curbing the violence in America, public education and the assault on public faculty, staff, boards, and librarians, affordable housing, veterans and VA benefits, land use and BLM management, “and the rights, legacy agreements, and promises to our indigenous citizen brothers and sisters.”

U.S. Senate (Unexpired Term)

Markwayne Mullin (R) Mullin is from Westville, Oklahoma and is the owner of Mullin Plumbing. He has campaigned extensively on the economy and energy, saying the U.S. needs to increase domestic oil production and reduce government spending in order to curb inflation. He has expressed support for a national ban on abortion without exceptions and is opposed to gun control efforts. In January 2021, Mullin voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election results. 

Kendra Horn (D) is running in a special election for the U.S. Senate seat held by James Inhofe who is retiring. From Kendra Horn’s campaign website: “Born and raised in Chickasha, Kendra is a fifth-generation Oklahoman and a proud product of Oklahoma Public Schools. Kendra’s parents taught her the importance of investing in people and serving her community, values that continue to guide her today. A big-picture visionary with the ability to drill down into the details, Kendra passionately believes in public service and is committed to building bridges, speaking truth to power, and finding solutions to our most challenging problems. “I see here that most Oklahomans are tired of the corruption, self-dealing, and extremism that pits us against each other, and they want elected officials who are going to work for us and talk to people on both sides of the aisle,” stated Horn recently on Facebook.

Robert Murphy (L) Murphy, a retired computer network technician and telecommunications manager from Norman, is opposed to federal vaccine mandates and gun regulations, calling such action “encroachment.” He supports abolishing federal regulations on controlled substances, saying “attempts to stop drug use through law and punishment are futile and misguided.”

Ray Woods (I) Woods, 86, a retired business owner, was born in Enid and lives in Cleo Springs, Oklahoma. He was a 2014 independent candidate who ran against, and was defeated by, Republican incumbent Jim Inhofe. If elected, Woods says he “would fight federal bureaucracy and work to transfer more power to state and local governments.” He supports reducing military spending.

U.S. House of Representatives

Kevin Hern (R—Incumbent) Hern is a former aerospace engineer, computer programmer, and entrepreneur based in Tulsa. He has held many leadership positions over the last 33 years, most recently being sworn into Congress in November of 2018 to serve the remainder of Jim Bridenstine’s term. He is married to Tammy, with whom he has 3 children. Hern’s website says he has been “hard at work supporting and advancing President Trump’s Make America Great Again agenda” since 2018 and lists as promises he’s kept to voters: supporting term limits, a balanced budget, President Trump, and veterans, securing the border, protecting 2nd amendment rights, a pro-life agenda, religious freedom, and freedom of speech, and putting Americans back to work. 

Madison Horn (D) is the Democratic candidate running for U.S. Senate currently held by James Lankford. She is from Stilwell and is a member of the Cherokee Nation. She has built a career as a cybersecurity expert, and for over a decade she has been defending America’s interest, working in both startups and global organizations. “We have to collaborate and work across the aisle.” She emphasized the need to address high prices and that Roe V Wade has to be codified. She also stated that there was a “migration problem” due to corruption. Furthermore, she said she supports alternative energy.

Jeremiah Ross (D) is running for U.S. House of Representatives, Congressional District 3 seat currently held by Frank Lucas. Ross does not have a website or Facebook page, nor did he fill out a survey on Ballotpedia. “I am a citizen of the Creek nation and I grew up here.” He expressed concern about Governor’s Stitt stance toward the Tribes. The issues that prompted Ross to run are wasteful spending, corruption, and government overreach. “They are basically eliminating the 14th Amendment. Under the 14th Amendment, you have Equal Rights protection. You have got privacy, you have got who you can marry, whether it is a gay person or interracial marriage… That is what they are going after.”

Adam Martin (D) is running for U.S. House of Representatives, Congressional District 1, currently held by Kevin Hern. He was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University in 2020. His career experience includes working as a legal assistant. He has also served as Tulsa District Chair of the African American Federation. Adam’s integrity, compassion, and drive for justice are bolstered by his faith, work ethic, and belief in the good people of Oklahoma. He is living proof that the American dream is alive and well. “Every day I hear from Oklahomans like you and me, saying they don’t have time to enjoy the simple things in life because they are too busy working to survive.  By focusing on quality education, good jobs, and access to healthcare, we can improve the lives of every citizen. “I am not a politician … I am a Christian above all,” said Martin at a campaign event.

Evelyn L. Rogers (I) Rogers says she “is seeking public office to make a difference in Congress as a conservative Republican woman. To uphold the constitution and the Judeo / Christian values that our nation was founded on.” Rogers has degrees in healthcare management, theology, and a masters in library studies, over 40 years of experience as a librarian or library assistant, and a 22-year history of running for public office. 

State Treasurer

Todd Russ (R) Russ is the state representative for House District 55 but will be term-limited out this year. The president and CEO of Washita State Bank from 2003 to 2008 and a longtime banking executive before that, Russ believes his decades of financial-industry experience make him the best candidate. He and his wife Khristy live in Cordell and have 3 children. 

Charles de Coune (D) is running for Oklahoma State Treasurer. De Coune received his bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Central Oklahoma. His professional experience includes working as the lending manager for the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, the chief operating officer in an Oklahoma City school, and a financial analyst for MidFirst Bank. De Coune has been affiliated with the Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Central Oklahoma, the Community Literacy Centers, and United Way’s Community Investment. “As a Christian, I believe that ‘Loving Your Neighbor’ begins by being accountable to all the taxpayers in Oklahoma for every dollar spent. I will fight backroom deals and will require checks and balances before funds can be disbursed.”

Gregory J. Sadler (L) Sadler, an account manager for L&M Office Furniture in Oklahoma City, ran unsuccessfully for State Senate District 17 as a Libertarian in 2020. On his website, Sadler says he believes in minimal government spending and heightened transparency. If elected, he says he will prioritize notifying taxpayers of unethical and wasteful government spending. 

State Superintendent of Public Education

Ryan Walters (R) A native of McAlester, Walters taught 8 years as a high school history teacher there before being named Oklahoma’s Secretary of Public Education by Stitt in September of 2020. Walters is married and has four children.

Jena Nelson (D), candidate for Superintendent Of Public Education. From Nelson’s website: Jena Nelson is a 6th and 7th-grade English teacher at Classen SAS Middle School. Her classroom excellence was recognized when she won the 2020 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Nelson has been an educator for over 16 years and has helped her students earn over $4 This year Jena is one of 45 national educators to receive the California Casualty and The NEA Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence. “It’s time for a revolution of classroom morale and my 16 years in public education have prepared me to step up and inspire those responsible for educating our kids to bring their best.”

Labor Commissioner

Leslie Kathryn Osborn (R—Incumbent) A resident of Mustang, Osborn was a state representative from 2008 to 2018. In 2018 she ran for, and won, the Labor Commissioner seat. Osborn has owned and operated her own business for 22 years, Osborn Pick-Up Accessories, selling heavy duty truck parts. She is the mother of two children. The Tulsa World said of her, “a good sign for a public official seeking reelection is how well that official’s office has functioned. Osborn’s tenure has been smooth, efficient and scandal-free…She has worked to keep Oklahoma’s on-the-job incidents down, helping the state rank well in workplace safety. The department has streamlined the state’s licensure system but wisely resisted calls for the elimination of licensure overall.”

Jack Henderson (D) is running for election for Oklahoma Commissioner of Labor. He is on the ballot in the general election on November 8, 2022. Henderson was a member of the Tulsa City Council in Oklahoma, representing District 1. He assumed office in 2004. He left office in 2016. Henderson’s professional experience includes working for AT&T. From Henderson’s Facebook page: “We have to spread the word and we have to go vote. I have served on the City Council for many many years I learned how to work with all of the people I work with Democrats Republicans independence as well as all other political affiliations when I was on the city Council we got lots of things done by the City Of Tulsa because we work together for the good of the citizens of the city that’s one of the things that I will try to bring to the state of Oklahoma.”

Will Daugherty (L) Daugherty, 28, has says he would like to work with the Oklahoma Legislature to reject federal identification requirements so “an estimated 85,000 undocumented immigrants can find work legally in the state,” according to The Oklahoman. He also told the Tulsa World that he would push for occupational licensing fees to be eliminated for businesses until they start turning a profit. Daughtery resides in Yukon. 

Corporation Commissoiner

Kim David (R) From Porter, David is at the end of a 12-year career in Oklahoma’s Senate. She was Oklahoma’s first female State Senate Majority Leader as a Senator and has been endorsed by Stitt. She describes herself as “a battle-tested patriot, strong, conservative leader, successful small businesswoman, and dedicated wife, mother and grandmother.”

Margaret Warigia Bowman (D) is the Democratic candidate running for Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner. From Ballotpedia: I teach water law, natural resources law, energy, and administrative law at the University of Tulsa College of Law, where I am a tenured professor. I am an internationally published expert on public policy, infrastructure, water, and energy. These are all areas which the Oklahoma Corporation Commission has jurisdiction over. As a single mother on a salary, she understands that high energy prices hurt all Oklahomans. Key platform points are: Fair Rates for a Great State. We need a responsive Commission that ensures fair utility prices for consumers. A modern and efficient grid. At a recent campaign speech, Bowman said that her reason for running was: “the utilities are “looting the store.”

Don Underwood (I) There is no publicly-available information for Mr. Underwood or campaign website.