In The Know: Primary elections today | Abortion ruling fallout | Oklahoma reaches $250 million opiod settlement | More

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Some stories included here are behind paywall or require subscription. OK Policy encourages the support of Oklahoma’s state and local media, which are vital to an informed citizenry. Subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

Oklahoma News

Primaries for governor, U.S. Senate and Congress top Tuesday’s ballot: Gov. Kevin Stitt will be on the ballot for the first time as a political insider on Tuesday, as voters choose nominees in a number of key races and Oklahoma County residents decide whether to approve $260 million to replace the trouble-plagued jail. [The Oklahoman

  • 6 Oklahoma primary election races to watch [KOSU
  • Your polling place may have changed. Here’s what to know for Oklahoma’s primary election [The Oklahoman
  • ‘Community-focused’ Democrats seek to succeed Emily Virgin in House District 44 [NonDoc
  • Commissioner faces former judge in southern Oklahoma’s House District 49 [NonDoc
  • House District 11 candidates disagree about the role of government [NonDoc
  • Democratic primary will determine next House District 89 representative [NonDoc
  • House District 87 GOP primary includes candidate who believes gay people are “worthy of death” [NonDoc
  • A cop and a councilman face off in House District 45 Republican primary [NonDoc
  • Long list of Oklahoma Republicans look to replace retiring Senator Inhofe [KSWO
  • Editorial: Every registered voter has a ballot available on Tuesday [Tulsa World]

Long before Roe v. Wade was overturned, Indigenous women faced barriers to abortion: After the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision came down Friday overturning Roe v. Wade, Oklahoma’s attorney general announced it had triggered a state law banning the practice in Oklahoma. Later, Indian Health Services released a statement saying it would still provide access to safe reproductive care, in certain circumstances. [KOSU

  • Reproductive rights supporters rally in Oklahoma following Supreme Court ruling [KGOU
  • Shock, praise, anger: People flock to Oklahoma churches in aftermath of abortion ruling [The Oklahoman
  • (Audio) Headlines: Abortion ruling fallout, primary elections & animal shelter overcrowding [KOSU

State Government News

Oklahoma reaches $250 million settlement with three companies that distributed opioids: Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor announced a $250 million settlement on Monday with three companies that distributed opioids in the state, and he said the money will be used to prevent and treat opioid addiction. [The Oklahoman] The distributors have denied wrongdoing in the epidemic, which has caused more than 500,000 U.S. overdose deaths during the past two decades, according to government data. [Reuters

Voting and Election News

What do Oklahoma schools superintendent candidates have to say about student mental health?: After two years of pandemic disruptions for Oklahoma students, all candidates for state schools superintendent say mental health services should remain a priority in public schools, but some question certain counseling initiatives. [The Oklahoman

Stitt, Hofmeister hold funding edge in Oklahoma governor bid: Oklahoma’s Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt and Democratic challenger Joy Hofmeister both took massive fundraising advantages over their opponents into Tuesday’s primary election in a state where hot-button issues like abortion, firearms and the death penalty are likely to be a focus in the race. [AP

Clean up Oklahoma criticized for not disclosing source of funding: Armed with mops and buckets and their trademark “Clean It Up Truck,” members of Clean Up Oklahoma admit they make a bit of spectacle as they travel across the state bringing attention to their anti-corruption platform. But Clean Up Oklahoma, which reports spending $30,400 on electioneering efforts since June 9, is not disclosing any of its donors. [CNHI via Enid News & Eagle]

Opinion: Don’t leave — Oklahoma is worth saving: A lot of Oklahomans said something along these lines as they assessed the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade: “We could leave this place before it becomes too dangerous.” If smart people who care about this state’s future vote in massive numbers to push back against an aspiring autocrat like Stitt, they can win. [Opinion / Oklahoma City Free Press

Economic Opportunity

Companies leverage state funds to expand, add jobs: Companies selected to receive Oklahoma Innovation Expansion Program funds have launched plans to expand production capacity and add jobs, state officials who have recently toured companies said. [The Journal Record

Economy & Business News

Gas prices fall for second straight week, but another spike possible: Gasoline prices have fallen for the second straight week, but that trend could be reversed with any jolts in supply, a national analyst said. Tulsa-area QuikTrip locations have nearly mirrored the national trend, with prices Monday at $4.37 per gallon, down 12 cents from a high of $4.49 per gallon in mid-June. [Tulsa World

Oklahoma motorists struggling while Joe Biden calls for suspension of gas taxes: Oklahoma motorists are struggling with fuel costs whether they are driving across town or across the nation while elected leaders and energy producers continue to debate over what can be done to address the issue. [The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma Local News

Tulsa Police Chief Faces Critics at North Tulsa Forum: Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin faced the wrath of community activists at a forum last Tuesday at the Greater Union Baptist Church in North Tulsa. The forum’s purpose was to improve communication and relations between Tulsa Police Department officers and the North Tulsa community.  [The Oklahoma Eagle

Quote of the Day

“Elections are decided by the people who show up. If you don’t do that, you don’t have a right to complain about what happens.”

-Tulsa World Editorial [Tulsa World]

Number of the Day


Oklahoma’s voter turnout rates in 2020 as measured by total ballots cast expressed as a percentage of eligible voters. This was the nation’s lowest voter rate in 2020. [Ballotpedia]

Policy Note

Increasing Voter Participation in America: Structural barriers and cynicism about government keep millions of eligible Americans from participating in elections; here’s how to fix that. [Center for American Progress] 

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Kristin Wells served as the Communications and Operations Fellow for OK Policy from October 2021 to July 2022. She previously worked as a digital content producer for News On 6. A native Kansas Citian, Kristin graduated with a B.A. in Media Studies and a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Tulsa in 2020. While there, she was accepted into the Global Scholars program, spurring her interests in policy, social movements, global identities, and the importance of education and advocacy. She hopes to use her skills to continue to learn and create a more equitable future for Oklahomans. An avid sports fan, Kristin lives in Tulsa with her rescue dog and is passionate about college basketball, documentaries, and coffee.

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