By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Cleveland County Commissioner District 3 candidates Mike Reynolds and Dr. Harold Haralson finished first and second in Tuesday’s primary and will face each other again Aug. 26 for the GOP primary runoff.
The winner in August will take on former state Senate President Pro-Tem Cal Hobson, the lone Democrat to file, Nov. 4.
When four Republicans signed up for the open seat being vacated by Commissioner Rusty Sullivan, county observers knew it would be a competitive race.
Each of the four candidates is well known. Daryl Covey started campaigning early. With long roots in the Lexington area of Cleveland County and 38 years of service at the National Weather Center Norman as well as working on the Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan, his name is familiar to voters. Blaine Nice is a former Norman assistant city attorney who has lived and worked in the county for 25 years. Dr. Harold Haralson is a well known physician who served a stint as Norman’s mayor and on the City Council. He serves as chair of the Cleveland County Republican Party. Mike Reynolds has served in the Oklahoma legislature since being elected in 2002 and is term limiting out.
In the complete, but unofficial tally Tuesday night, Reynolds led with 2,313 votes to take just more than 37 percent of the vote.
“I’m just thankful that I received the votes that I got and I’ll look forward to a tough runoff,” Reynolds said.
Haralson came in a close second with 2,144 votes and 34.5 percent of the vote.
“I’m honored for the support of citizens across the district and am looking forward to a spirited runoff,” Haralson said. “I’d like to thank Blaine and Daryl for being willing to serve. They are good men who have made Cleveland County a great place to live.”
Nice garnered 1,160 or 18.7 percent of the vote and Covey received 596 votes for 9.6 percent.
In the only other county race, David Tinsley will retain his position as the Cleveland County Assessor with a deciding 68.4 percent or 12,273 votes. The Republican incumbent has 32 years of experience in the appraisal profession with the Cleveland County Assessors’ office. There were no Democrat or Independent challengers in the assessor’s race.
He was appointed assessor March 1, 2009, and has been a member of the International Association of Assessing Officers since 1987.
“Thank you for allowing me four more years to continue to do what the constitution allows me to do,” Tinsley said. “We’ll continue to do what we need to do. I thank the voters of Cleveland County for entrusting me with the office.”
Tinsley lives in Norman with his wife, Joyce, of 36 years, a retired Moore teacher. They raised two children in Noble before moving to Norman.
Challenger Cheryl Pack received 5,666 votes equaling 31.6 percent of the total. Pack has worked in the assessor’s office for 26 years. She learned the assessors office on the job from the ground up.
All election results are unofficial until certified by the Cleveland County Election Board.
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