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Gentner Drummond defeats John O'Connor in GOP attorney general's race

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State attorney general candidate Gentner Drummond enters his watch party with his wife, Wendy, to declare victory Tuesday night in Tulsa.

Oklahoma Attorney General John O'Connor hugs children after speaking to the crowd at his watch party on Tuesday.

Tulsa attorney Gentner Drummond on Tuesday defeated John O'Connor to secure the Republican nomination for attorney general in a hotly contested race.

Drummond held around a 6,000-vote lead over O'Connor's in nearly complete election results late Tuesday.

Last July, Gov. Kevin Stitt appointed Tulsa attorney O'Connor to serve the remainder of Mike Hunter's term as attorney general after Hunter resigned.

"I was running against the governor and his appointee," Drummond said from his watch party in Tulsa. "I think what tonight's vote illustrates is that a majority of people want transparency and accountability.

"They want honesty and integrity."

The people have said they are sick of scandal and corruption, Drummond said.

O'Connor campaigned on pushing back against the policies of President Joe Biden and on ending abortion. Former President Donald Trump had nominated O'Connor for the federal bench, a post he did not get after the American Bar Association said he was not qualified.

"I'm honored to continue to serve for a few months and then there'll be a very smooth transition," O'Connor said late Tuesday. "… I want to thank the governor for appointing me and for giving me the opportunity to serve in this way for these months at a very critical time in our state's history."

Hunter narrowly defeated Drummond by 271 votes in the 2018 runoff primary.

"For a guy who lost in 2018 by 271 votes, folks, this is a landslide," Drummond told the crowd at his watch party.

Drummond campaigned on being independent of Stitt and improving the state's relationship with tribes in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's McGirt decision.

He also wants to shut down illegal medical marijuana growing operations.

Drummond accused O'Connor of taking a backseat to several scandals in the state, refusing to get involved.

Drummond is a graduate of Hominy High School. He has a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics from Oklahoma State University and a law degree from Georgetown University.

He is a former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot who flew 40 combat missions during Desert Shield and Storm.

He is also a bank owner and rancher.

No Democrat filed for the seat.

Drummond will face Lynda Steele, a Libertarian from Warr Acres, on the Nov. 8 ballot.

2021 video: Gentner Drummond discusses lessons of the first war with Iraq

Photos: Tuesday's primary elections across Oklahoma

Attorney General

State Attorney General candidate Gentner Drummond enters his watch party to declare victory at the VFW Tuesday, June 28, 2022 in Tulsa, Okla.

Mike Simons, Tulsa World

Attorney General

State Attorney General candidate Gentner Drummond is congratulated by well wishers as his wife Wendy looks on after giving a victory speech at his watch party at the VFW Tuesday, June 28, 2022 in Tulsa, Okla.

Mike Simons, Tulsa World

Attorney General

State Attorney General candidate Gentner Drummond speaks as his wife Wendy looks on at his watch party at the VFW Tuesday, June 28, 2022 in Tulsa, Okla.

Mike Simons, Tulsa World

Attorney General

State Attorney General candidate Gentner Drummond pumps his fist as his wife Wendy looks on at his watch party at the VFW Tuesday, June 28, 2022 in Tulsa, Okla.

Mike Simons Tulsa World

Attorney General

State Attorney General candidate Gentner Drummond and his wife Wendy kiss at the conclusion of his victory speech at his watch party at the VFW Tuesday, June 28, 2022 in Tulsa, Okla.

Mike Simons, Tulsa World

Attorney General

State Attorney General candidate Gentner Drummond speaks as his wife Wendy looks on at his watch party at the VFW Tuesday, June 28, 2022 in Tulsa, Okla.

Mike Simons, Tulsa World

Attorney General

State Attorney General candidate Gentner Drummond speaks as his wife Wendy looks on at his watch party at the VFW Tuesday, June 28, 2022 in Tulsa, Okla.

Mike Simons, Tulsa World

Republican Primaries

Oklahoma Attorney General John O'Connor hugs a group of children after speaking to media after losing his primary race during a Republican primary election night watch party at First National Center in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

Ian Maule, Tulsa World

Republican Primaries

Oklahoma Attorney General John O'Connor speaks to media after losing his primary race during a Republican primary election night watch party at First National Center in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

Ian Maule, Tulsa World

Republican Primaries

Oklahoma Attorney General John O'Connor speaks to media after losing his primary race during a Republican primary election night watch party at First National Center in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

Ian Maule, Tulsa World

Republican Primaries

Gov. Kevin Stitt speaks after winning his primary while his wife, Sarah Stitt (right), and state superintendent candidate Ryan Walters join him on stage.

Ian Maule, Tulsa World

Republican Primaries

Oklahoma state superintendent candidate Ryan Walters speaks at the Republican watch party at the First National Center in Oklahoma City.

Ian Maule, Tulsa World

Republican Primaries

With his family and Gov. Kevin Stitt behind him, state superintendent candidate Ryan Walters speaks at the watch party at the First National Center in Oklahoma City.

Ian Maule, Tulsa World

Republican Primaries

With Gov. Kevin Stitt behind him, state superintendent candidate Ryan Walters speaks at the watch party at the First National Center in Oklahoma City.

Ian Maule, Tulsa World

Republican Primaries

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt gets interviews by media during a Republican primary election night watch party at First National Center in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

Ian Maule, Tulsa World

Republican Primaries

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt talks on the phone during a Republican primary election night watch party at First National Center in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

Ian Maule, Tulsa World

062922-tul-nws-super-p1

State Secretary of Education and state superintendent candidate Ryan Walters (right) talks with a guest at a Republican primary election watch party at the First National Center in Oklahoma City. Walters is headed for an August runoff for state superintendent.

Ian Maule, Tulsa World

Republican Primaries

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt takes questions from reporters during his election night watch party at the First National Center in Oklahoma City on Tuesday.

Ian Maule, Tulsa World

Republican Primaries

Oklahoma State Superintendent candidate Ryan Walters talks with attendees during a Republican primary election night watch party at First National Center in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

Ian Maule, Tulsa World

Republican Primaries

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt talks with members of the media during a Republican primary election night watch party at First National Center in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

Ian Maule, Tulsa World

Republican Primaries

during a Republican primary election night watch party at First National Center in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

Ian Maule, Tulsa World

Republican Primaries

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt gets interviews by media during a Republican primary election night watch party at First National Center in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

Ian Maule, Tulsa World

062922-tul-nws-governor-p2

Democrat gubernatorial candidate Joy Hofmeister talks to guests at her watch party at Rococo Restaurant & Bar in Oklahoma City on Tuesday. Hofmeister won the Democratic Party's nomination and will meet incumbent Gov. Kevin Stitt in the general election in November.

Nathan J Fish, The Oklahoman

Hofmeister-9

Guests wear stickers for Democrat gubernatorial Candidate Joy Hofmeister at her watch party at Rococo Restaurant & Bar in Oklahoma City on Tuesday evening. Hofmeister won the Democratic Party's nomination and will meet incumbent Gov. Kevin Stitt in the general election in November.

Nathan J Fish/The Oklahoman

Hofmeister-7

Democrat gubernatorial candidate Joy Hofmeister talks to guests at her watch party at Rococo Restaurant & Bar in Oklahoma City on Tuesday evening. Hofmeister won the Democratic Party's nomination and will meet incumbent Gov. Kevin Stitt in the general election in November.

Nathan J Fish/The Oklahoman

Connie Johnson

Volunteer Kathleen Jones (left) greets Oklahoma Democratic gubernatorial candidate Connie Johnson at her watch party at the Greenwood Event Center on Tuesday.

Mike Simons, Tulsa World

Connie Johnson

Oklahoma Democratic gubernatorial candidate Connie Johnson speaks with supporters outside her watch party in Tulsa on Tuesday.

Mike Simons, Tulsa World

Connie Johnson

Oklahoma Democratic gubernatorial candidate Connie Johnson (center) talks with supporter Sharon McDaniel and volunteer Kathleen Jones (left) outside her watch party on Tuesday.

Mike Simons, Tulsa World

Election 22 Senate

Markwayne Mullin and his wife, Christie, spoke at his watch party Tuesday.

Stephen Pingry, Tulsa World

Election 22 Senate

Markwayne Mullin with his wife Christie and their children, Ivy, Lynette, Larra and Jayce Caviness talking at his Republican senate watch party Tulsa, OK, June 28, 2022.

Stephen Pingry, Tulsa World

Election 22 Senate

Markwayne Mullin with his wife Christie on their way to the podium at his Republican senate watch party Tulsa, OK, June 28, 2022.

Stephen Pingry, Tulsa World

Election 22 Senate

Markwayne Mullin talks with constituents at his Republican senate watch party Tulsa, OK, June 28, 2022.

Stephen Pingry, Tulsa World

Election 22 Senate

Markwayne Mullin on the phone and watching results at his Republican senate watch party Tulsa, OK, June 28, 2022.

Stephen Pingry, Tulsa World

Election 22 Senate

Markwayne Mullin on the phone at his Republican senate watch party Tulsa, OK, June 28, 2022.

Stephen Pingry, Tulsa World

Election 22 Senate

Markwayne Mullin talks with those gathered at his watch party in Tulsa on Tuesday.

Stephen Pingry, Tulsa World

Election 22 Senate

Markwayne Mullin talks with constituents at his Republican senate watch party Tulsa, OK, June 28, 2022.

Stephen Pingry, Tulsa World

Election 22 Senate

Markwayne Mullin on the phone at his Republican senate watch party Tulsa, OK, June 28, 2022.

Stephen Pingry, Tulsa World

Election 22

Congressman Kevin Hern at the Tulsa County Republican watch party Tulsa, OK, June 28, 2022.

Stephen Pingry, Tulsa World

Election 22 Senate

Markwayne Mullin talks with constituents at his watch party in Tulsa on Tuesday. 

Stephen Pingry, Tulsa World

Election 22

People look at a chart for the Republican election at the Tulsa County Republican watch party Tulsa, OK, June 28, 2022.

Stephen Pingry, Tulsa World

Election 22

Republican election at the Tulsa County Republican watch party Tulsa, OK, June 28, 2022.

Stephen Pingry, Tulsa World

062922-tul-nws-super2

Candidate John Cox holds election watch party at Andy B's Bowling Alley on June 28, 2022.

Manuela Soldi/Tulsa World

062922-tul-nws-super1

Republican state superintendent candidate John Cox speaks to Renee Profitt during his election watch party at Andy B's Bowling Alley in Tulsa on Tuesday.

Manuela Soldi, Tulsa World

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