A special election following November’s general election may be the best option for supporters of indicted County Commissioner Randy Baldridge and other who aren’t happy with the two choices on now listed on the General Election ballot when it comes to the County District 3 race.

But to make that happen, Baldridge will still have to win in November.

Supporters of Baldridge, including the editorial board of the Daily Progress, are urging him to stay the course in hopes that he will win and in the worst case scenario throw the election outcome into a special election or in a best case scenario he will simply win and be found not guilty of the charges leveled against him.

The worst case scenario would ensure the Democrat Party an opportunity to put forth a new candidate in a special election.

Fran Roach with the State Election office confirmed that this would be the case. “If he (Baldridge) were to be convicted before the election and he were to win, he would not be eligible to hold office and a vacancy would be declared. If that happens, the law provides for the governor to call for a special election.”

But Republican commissioner candidate Kirt Thacker is hoping to carry District 3 by more than 50 percent. In that case, Baldridge would simply be out and Thacker would be in.

Thacker, an Inola resident, filed for the District 3 commissioner seat only seven minutes before the Election Board Office closed the books back in July.

Campaign signs and literature describe Thacker as a “Pro God, Pro Life” candidate. Thacker is known around the area as “a cowboy preacher,” who also rides part time at the South Coffeyville Sale Barn.

Thacker said Oologah resident Steve Kloehr spoke to him (Thacker) about running for office. Kloehr frequents county government meetings and describes himself as an interested member of the public.

However, Thacker said he thought about running four years ago, but didn’t want to run against his friend and employer at the time, Harvey Dien, who didn’t win his bid for the Democratic nomination.

“Seven minutes before filing might seem like it’s last minute, but I’ve had four years to think about it,” Thacker said. “Yeah, Steve came and talked to me about it, and I decided to run.”

Baldridge, who is seeking a second term, has said he will not resign his seat and will continue to fulfill his duties as a county commissioner. His campaign efforts are overshadowed by preparations for a possible trial on nine federal charges before the November election.

Two identified “coconspirators” remain employed by the county under Baldridge’s supervision. These coconspirators are Bruce Long and Cindy Rash. They provided testimony against Baldridge. No charges have been filed against Long or Rash.

Rogers County Election Board Secretary Terri Thomas said Oklahoma election laws do not allow write-in candidates and there is no option for new candidates to file for the November vote.

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