Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

March 8, 2012

Local residents parse primary results

TAHLEQUAH — It didn’t take long after Tuesday’s Presidential Preferential Primary ballots were counted for the Monday-morning quarterbacking to begin.

On the Democrat side, President Barack Obama received 56.2 percent of the Cherokee County vote, and 57 percent of the vote statewide. The perceived spoiler in this side of the primary was Randall Terry, who, by taking 18 percent of Democrats’ votes, may pull a party delegate from Obama. The Associated Press reported that according to Democratic Party rules, Terry is eligible for the delegate since he won more than 15 percent of the statewide vote.

GOP candidate Rick Santorum not only won Cherokee County, but he carried the state, garnering roughly 35 percent of the Republican vote. Newt Gingrich came next, with 31 percent of the county’s votes, followed by Mitt Romney at 21 percent. Statewide, Gingrich and Romney were locked in a virtual dead heat, with Gingrich garnering 27.3 percent of the ballots, compared to Mitt Romney’s 27 percent.

It is presumed the top three GOP candidates – Santorum, Gingrich and Romney – will have party delegates divided equally among them.

Local Republican Party Chairman Gary Gore was not surprised at the outcome.

“It turned out about the way I thought it would for Oklahoma,” said Gore. “It looks like the delegates in this district will be distributed evenly among Santorum, Gingrich and Romney, or one for each candidate in the top three. I don’t think Santorum will get more than one, and I think Ron Paul is out of the mix.”

Local resident Shane Perry registered as a Democrat when he came of age because of his mother’s party affiliation.

“I am, however, a die-hard conservative Republican,” said Perry. “When I went to vote, they made me vote Democrat, of course, so I did what any smart Democrat would do, since they didn’t have a box labeled ‘anonymous.’ I voted for Jim Rogers, because I know a Jim Rogers.”

Perry hopes Santorum garners the party nomination.

“Because Romney is just a ‘Mormon Obama’,” said Perry. “I would love to see Obama get ousted simply because he has put unto an extra $6 trillion in debt in just four years, when it took Bush the entire eight years to accomplish the same $6 trillion. I believe that Santorum can change things, and that Romney would just make it worse. We need gas to be affordable around the country and for more jobs to be created. Obama is only just now starting to get jobs created and I think it is just to get votes, seeing as how he has had four years to do it and only decides to do it during an election year.”

Gore believes a number of Cherokee County Democrats are conservative, or a simply fed up with the current administration, as evidenced by the challenge posed by Terry.

“I think there’s a good many people who would vote for anybody but Obama; we have a lot of protest,” he said. “During the month of March, they can change party affiliation if they want to have a say in who runs against Obama.”

The Daily Press conducted an unscientific, online poll, asking local Democrats who they planned to vote for in the primary. Of 131 respondents, 112, or 66 percent, said they would cast their ballots for Obama; followed by nine votes, or 5 percent, who indicated they’d be voting for Jim Rogers. Darcy G. Richardson and Randall Terry each garnered five votes, or 3 percent of respondents, and Bob Ely failed to garner any votes.

A few days earlier, the Press offered Republicans a similar poll. Of 216 respondents, Santorum garnered 81 votes, or 38 percent; Romney had 37 votes, or 17 percent; while Gingrich and Paul were third and fourth, respectively, with 35 and 34 votes. Twenty-eight respondents, or 13 percent, indicated they would choose none of the candidates, and one respondent said he’d vote for one of the three who had already dropped out of the race.

Local resident Jimmy Lang is supportive of Obama.

“Obama has done a great job and turned around the economy that Bush had totally destroyed,” said Lang. “He has ended one part of the war and is sizing down the other. He has taken out our enemies.”

Tahlequah resident Roger Graham is an independent, and did not get to vote in Tuesday’s primary.

“I feel that all GOP candidates will take away rights,” said Graham. “The GOP claims to be the small-government party, yet wants government to control women’s rights, government control of who a person can marry, and government control of freedom from religion. Romney, Santorum and Gingrich are small-minded control freaks, in my opinion.”

John Morgan, also a Tahlequah resident, sides with Graham, saying voting Republican could infringe on personal freedoms.

“Anyone who votes for Santorum is voting to take away women’s rights, gay rights and the right to use birth control,” said Morgan. “Anyone [who says] ‘anyone but Obama’ isn’t using their brain at all. Obama has accomplished more in his three years than most presidents have. He works for the middle class and the poor; he doesn’t cater to the 1 percent, unlike the GOP candidates.”

Tom Lewis, director of Project O-Si-Yo, the shelter for homeless men, said neither Santorum nor Gingrich are qualified to serve as president.

“Check the facts, folks,” said Lewis. “Both of these [men] have demonstrated they are not qualified. Gingrich was found guilty of crimes in the House, and Santorum is a single-issue candidate. We need the best of both parties to make the best choice for president.”

According to analysis conducted by the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, approximately 5 percent of eligible citizens under  age 30 participated in the Super Tuesday primary elections.

Combining the five Super Tuesday states - Georgia, Massachusetts, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia – in which exit polls were conducted with adequate youth samples, CIRCLE estimates 88,000 total youth voted for Rep. Ron Paul, with about 88,000 who voted for Santorum, about 86,000 for Romney and about 43,000 for Gingrich.

CIRCLE data indicated about 26,000 young Oklahomans voted in the primary, which is 5 percent of the state’s youth. There were not enough youth in the exit poll sample to report young people’s vote choice.

Local resident Glenda Pate, who is retired from the newspaper/radio industry, can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t exercise the right to vote. She believes women’s rights are being targeted by the Republican candidates.

“Many people before us suffered degradation and sometimes even death to secure that right for all citizens of this country,” said Pate.

“At our nation’s inception, my gender alone exclude me from the right to vote – an exclusion that also included ‘slaves’ and Native Americans. I am a woman! I’m proud to be a woman! I worked hard in my youth, like many women before me, for my right to make my own personal choices, for my right to freedom of conscience, for my right to equal pay for equal work, for my right to be respected as a womean who sought to improve herself and the basic living conditions of her children when she found herself in the role of a single parent. I went back to college full-time. Do I think any candidae on the GOP ticket respects what any of us went through to secure a woman’s basic civil right? A woman’s basic rights as a human being? No!”

Text Only
Local News
  • sr-NSU-Earth-day.jpg NSU students observe Earth Day

    Students and members of the community converged on Northeastern State University’s Second Century Square on Tuesday to spend an afternoon celebrating Earth Day.
    The event featured tables sponsored by campus organizations, prizes and music by Chris Espinoza. NSU’s Earth Day theme was “Gather Here. Go Green,” and was organized by the Committee for Sustainability and the Northeastern Student Government Association (NSGA).

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts-smallholders-courtesy.jpg Rural smallholders host annual show

    More and more, many people are showing growing interest in learning the sources of their food, including meat. As such, interest in farm-to-table living is increasing.
    Saturday, the Rural Smallholders Association held its annual spring show at the Cherokee County Fairgrounds, promoting the farming of sheep and goats, along with giving the general public a sample of their products.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • pitts-hurley.jpg Wanted man nabbed during traffic stop

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies arrested a wanted man this week after a traffic stop near South Muskogee and Willis Road.
    Hurley D. Pitts, 40, was being sought by authorities on a motion to revoke a previous sentence.
    Sheriff’s Deputy Jarrick Snyder said he stopped a car after it ran off the road a couple of times. A woman was behind the wheel, and Pitts was sitting in the passenger seat.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-Wikafile.jpg Communiversity Band performs Sunday

    Musicians from on and off the Northeastern State University campus have made their final preparations for an upcoming performance of the NSU Communiversity Band.
    The ensemble performs Sunday, April 27, at 7 p.m., in the NSU Center for the Performing Arts. The conductor is Dr. Norman Wika, associate professor of music and band program director. Guest conductor is student Kameron Parmain. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors.
    “Everything has come together very well this semester,” Wika said.
    “We have about 40 musicians, and everyone who started the rehearsals has stuck with it. This could be the best Community Band concert yet.”

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Council concerned over reports of land contamination

    Negotiations involving the purchase of nearly 20 homes on 7 acres of land near Basin Avenue hit a snag Monday night when concerns surfaced over potential contamination of the area.
    Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols had proposed the city purchase the homes and duplexes as a large step in a greenbelt project, which would establish a solid park and trail system from the downtown area to the site of the city’s old solid waste transfer station.
    Until Monday, details of the negotiations had been mostly discussed behind closed doors, though Nichols confirmed the list price for the property to be $480,000.

    April 23, 2014

  • Council tables cell tower permit apps

    Tahlequah city councilors on Monday opted to hold off on approval of two special-use permit applications that would help AT&T install a couple of 150-foot cell towers within the city.
    Branch Communications is asking for the permits as it attempts to construct two monopole cell towers – one on Commercial Road near Green Country Funeral Home, and another at the Tahlequah Public Schools bus barn on Pendleton Street. Other towers are being built outside of the city limits.
    Members of the city’s planning and zoning board gave their OK for both permits last month.

    April 23, 2014

  • SR-WalkaMile1.jpg Walk a Mile 2014

    Men squeezed into feminine footwear Saturday by the hundreds to walk in solidarity with women on the issue of sexual violence – and their clop-clop-clopping echoed down Muskogee Avenue.
    The fourth annual “Walk a Mile In Her Shoes” brought men to Norris Park, accompanied by their enthusiastic female supporters, to walk – and often wobble – in high heels over a mile-long course to raise funds for Help-In-Crisis.
    “It hurts every year,” said John Christie, a Sequoyah High School student participating in his third Walk a Mile. “I get home, sit down, blisters come up and the calves hurt. But it is worth it. It’s for a good cause.”

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • adams-christopher.jpg Michigan man gets 13 years on plea to rape, sodomy of girl

    A 28-year-old Michigan man will spend about 13 years in an Oklahoma state prison after pleading guilty to four counts of first-degree rape and one count of sodomy involving a 13-year-old girl.
    Christopher Dale Adams, of Lake Orion, Mich., received a 13-year prison sentence for each of the five charges, to be followed by seven years suspended. All sentences will run concurrently.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • logan-amy.jpg Police take down pair on pot distribution charge

    Tahlequah police officers arrested a pair Sunday night for allegedly possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it.
    Tahlequah Officer Cody Warren said police were asked to investigate when 35-year-old Amy N. Logan, of Tahlequah, allegedly took a family member’s car without permission.
    While Warren was speaking with the owners of the vehicle, Logan arrived along with 26-year-old Theoplilus James Mollie, of Tulsa.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • land-lisa.jpg Two nailed with meth, pot hidden in bag of chips

    Two people were arrested early Monday morning when Tahlequah police stopped a vehicle near Basin Avenue and found methamphetamine and marijuana hidden in a bag of chips.
    Tahlequah Officer Cory Keele said he noticed a Nissan heading north on Park Hill Road, and the vehicle later stopped in an intersection.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo


How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers