The race is on! Candidates file for Okla. offices - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

The race is on! Candidates file for Okla. offices

Lawton_The candidates' filing period for federal, state, and county offices wrapped up at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, and some Southwest Oklahoma lawmakers will serve two additional years in the state House.  Incumbents Representatives Ann Coody of Lawton, and Representatives Don Armes of Faxon, and Joe Dorman of Rush Springs drew no opponents, which means they are automatically re-elected to another two-year term, while incumbent T.W. Shannon was set to go unopposed until  Lawton Councilman Randy Warren entered the contest very close to the deadline.  Most House members never stop campaigning since their terms are so short, and although there are a lot of familiar local faces returning to the capitol, there will be some newcomers.

This is the first time Representative Ann Coody has been uncontested for her House seat.  "It is a welcome change, although I enjoy getting out and knocking on doors," she said.  "That's my favorite part of campaigning.  I love to knock on doors and meet people and share ideas, and I find most of the doors I knock on, the people feel the same way I do." 

West Lawton State Representative T.W. Shannon faced opposition in his first election in 2006, and has opposition from a Democratic candidate this fall.  "We've done a good job of taking conservative values to Oklahoma City," he said.  "Southwest values are conservative values. 

Representative Don Armes of Faxon has been unopposed since his first race for the House in 2002.  "I think people have enough confidence in me," he said.  I get up there and do the right things for our district and our area, and even more than my district.  I've been kind of a public servant in Oklahoma for a long time." 

However, two local House races will send first time lawmakers to the capitol next year because of term limits.  In Altus, Charles Ortega, Ricky Brewer, and Dan McMahan have filed for outgoing Representative David Braddock's seat, and in Marlow, Tommy Cosgrove and Corey Holland intent to fill Representative Ray McCarter's longtime office.  Another race up for grabs in Stephens, Cotton, and part of Comanche County - Former Senator Daisy Lawler of Comanche is running against incumbent Representative Dennis Johnson of Duncan.

There is only one state senate seat in Southwest Oklahoma that falls in this election cycle - District 31, currently held by Senator Don Barrington of Lawton.  Barrington is running again, but faces an opponent in Lawton, businessman Keith Erwin.  "I think that if we want the economic development for Southwest Oklahoma to really take off like it could, we've got to focus on families," he said.  "That means we have to focus on education."  District 31 serves Comanche, Cotton, Jefferson, and portions of Grady and Stephens Counties.

Count on 7News to continue to cover the 2008 elections.

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