Incumbent Boggs out of Senate District 7 race
By Ken Childers
Senator Larry Boggs is no longer in the running to keep his seat that he has held on the Oklahoma Legislature for the past eight years.
Boggs, a pro-lifer who has represented Senate District 7 since 2012, was edged out of the race last Tuesday by fellow Republican Warren Hamilton, a self-described abortion abolitionist. Hamilton will face Democrat Jerry Donathan in the November general election.
While Boggs carried Okfuskee County by cinching 55 percent of the 69 votes cast in the Aug. 25 primary runoff, that wasn’t enough to win the overall contest. District-wide, Boggs captured only 48 percent of the 4,818 votes to Hamilton’s 52 percent.
“I have been honored to represent the people of SD 7 for eight years, and I will always be grateful for the opportunity to serve. Despite today’s outcome, my commitment to southeast Oklahoma will never waiver,” Boggs said in a statement released shortly after election results were tabulated. “This primary has been competitive, and sometimes contentious, but I hope every voter will support the best candidate in November.”
Boggs initially drew four challengers – two Republicans and two Democrats – in the race, which will be ultimately decided in November. In the June 30 primary election, Donathan won the democratic nomination with a landslide victory against Cathy Zukosky Thornton, but a runoff was forced between Boggs and Hamilton on the Republican ticket. A third Republican candidate, Kevin Woody, did not make the final cut.
A native of Wilburton, Boggs currently serves as the vice chair of the Veterans and Military Affairs Committee and is a member of the Public Safety Committee, the Transportation Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural Resources and Regulatory Services. He is a retired general contractor and Vietnam veteran who served in the Air Force and later in the Army Reserves. Boggs and his wife, Karla, run a cattle operation and raise horses.
Hamilton is both a veteran and a cattle rancher who says he will co-author a bill to end abortion in Oklahoma. He said he will also propose and support legislation that strengthens Second Amendment rights so “no free person will ever be debarred the use of arms” as well as legislation that strengthens the First Amendment.
Donathan was born and raised in Wister. His top priorities are education, jobs, and health care. He is anti-abortion (with some exceptions) and also supports freedom of religion, Second Amendment rights, and equal rights. “We need to support our farmers, ranchers, and oilfield workers. We must promote hunting, electricity, timber, and tourism,” Donathan stated in campaign material.
Hamilton and Donathan are set to square off in the general election, which is slated for Tuesday, Nov. 3. Senate District 7 includes Haskell, Latimer, Pittsburg and portions of Hughes and Okfuskee counties.