State Auditor Cindy Byrd re-elected; other state offices heading to second round

State Auditor and Inspector Cindy Byrd withstood dark money-fueled opposition by winning re-election on Tuesday, beating a challenger who was backed by the founders of a virtual charter school she accused in an audit of stealing millions of dollars in tax dollars.

“I had such an outpouring of support across the state once everyone understood what was going on with this election,” said Byrd, who beat Steven McQuillen with more than double the total vote.

With no other candidate on the general election ballot, Byrd was essentially reelected to another four-year term.

In 2020, Byrd drew attention after publishing a scathing audit of Epic Charter School, which his office accused of numerous questionable expenses.

Ben Harris and David Chaney, the founders of Epic who were arrested this month for embezzlement, donated $744,500 to Prosperity Alliance Inc. from January 2020 to March 2021, which backed the opponent of Byrd with shippers.

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Byrd said the arrests confirmed his audit claims and his election victory showed voters had confidence in his office.

“It’s very disheartening that some didn’t believe the audit report released by the state auditor’s office,” Byrd said Tuesday night. “But last week there was more evidence that the state auditor’s office is releasing the information taxpayers need to know to know where their money is going.”

Races for Labor Committee, Treasurer and Companies Committee head to second round

Several other statewide primary races are heading to a runoff, including the Commissioner of Labor, where incumbent Leslie Osborn won 48% of the vote, just short of the majority needed to avoid a runoff. . State Rep. Sean Roberts, who received 38%, will face Osborn in the Aug. 23 election. The winner will face Democrat Jack Henderson and Libertarian Will Daugherty in November.

The Republican primary for state treasurer is also heading into a runoff to compete for the open seat, where current state treasurer Randy McDaniel has decided not to seek re-election.

State Rep. Todd Russ got 49% of the vote, and Oklahoma Tax Commission Chairman Clark Jolley got 34%.

David Hooten, who recently resigned as Oklahoma County Clerk amid sexual harassment allegations, received 18%, missing the second round.

The winner between Russ and Jolley will face Libertarian Gregory Sadler and Democrat Charles de Coune.

The four-candidate Republican primary for an open seat on the Corporations Committee is also heading to a runoff, as State Senator Kim David, who won 41% of the vote, will face former State Representative Todd Thomsen. , which got 26%.

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