Gaylord News is a reporting project of the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication

Gaylord News

Gaylord News is a reporting project of the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication

Gaylord News

Gaylord News is a reporting project of the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication

Gaylord News

Cole defeats Bondar in costly Republican primary

Cole+defeats+Bondar+in+costly+Republican+primary

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Tom Cole (R-Moore) easily defeated political newcomer Paul Bondar in Tuesday’s Republican primary election. Cole advances to the general election where he will face Democrat Mary Brannon and Independent James Stacy.

Cole received 64% to Bondar’s 25%, with Andrew Hayes, Rick Whitebear Harris and Nick Hankins combining for 9.5% according to unofficial results.

In a Facebook post, Cole released a statement on his victory, thanking Fourth District constituents and laying out his platform for the general election.

“I look forward to making my case for re-election to the entire electorate in the fall campaign,” Cole said. “The voters of the Fourth District can count on me to fight for a safer and stronger America.”

The race made national headlines due to expenditures from both Cole and Bondar, with a combined estimated $7.9 million spent by the pair over the course of their campaigns. About $5.7 million of that total was spent on advertisements according to Federal Election Commission filings.

In the weeks leading up to the contested election, Cole likened the race to a bar fight.

“This is like a bar fight,” Cole said. “The guy with the most money doesn’t win, the guy with the most friends wins. I have a lot more friends than my opponent.”

Bondar represents the first significant primary challenger Cole has faced since James Taylor garnered 35% of the vote in 2018.

In a statement of defeat, Bondar took to Facebook Tuesday night vowing to challenge Cole again in the 2026 election.

“This is not the last you will hear from Paul Bondar,” he wrote. “Our work in Oklahoma has just begun. American history teaches us – one defeat in battle does not signal the end of the war. We have not yet begun to fight.”

U.S. Representative Kevin Hern (R-Tulsa) secured the Republican nomination for Oklahoma’s First Congressional District, defeating Paul Royse.

Hern will face Dennis Baker of Tulsa in November in hopes of securing his fourth term in office.

In a video posted to Facebook, Hern said he is honored to represent his district in November.

“As we move forward to one of the most important elections in American history, it’s critical that we have leaders who will put America first.” Hern said.

In Oklahoma’s Third Congressional District U.S. Representative Frank Lucas secured the Republican party’s nomination, defeating two primary challengers.

In various posts on Truth Social, former President Trump congratulated each winner of Oklahoma’s Republican Congressional primaries, including Cole, Hern and Lucas, who were all endorsed by Trump.

Both U.S. Representative Josh Brecheen (R-Coal County) for Oklahoma’s second district and U.S. Representative Stephanie Bice (R-Oklahoma City) for the state’s fifth congressional district ran unopposed in their respective primaries.

Brecheen will face Brandon Wade in November for Oklahoma’s second congressional district. Bice will face Madison Horn in a battle for the state’s fifth district.

One major upset came in Oklahoma’s legislative primaries. Incumbent State Senator Greg McCortney (R-Ada) lost his race to Johnathan Wingard. During this year’s legislative session, McCortney had been voted to become Senate President Pro Tempore in January.

Wingard faces no challenger in the general election, automatically securing the seat.

Gaylord News is a reporting project of the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. For more stories by Gaylord News go to GaylordNews.net.

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