Johnson Defeats Sheriff in Republican Runoff

He’ll Face Cubit in November

Norman Officer Tommie Johnson won the Republican nomination on Tuesday.

A political newcomer who had trailed Oklahoma County Sheriff P.D. Taylor in the June Republican primary, but faced him in a runoff, upset the incumbent by winning Tuesday’s election.

Officer Tommie Johnson of the Norman Police Department, who is Black, will face the winner of the Democratic primary on Nov. 3.

Officer Wayland Cubit, who is also Black, won the Democratic primary in June and will face Officer Johnson for the sheriff’s post.

What ever the outcome in the Nov. 3 race, Oklahoma County will elect its first Black sheriff.

Officer Johnson, a first-time challenger at 31-years-old, was in the lead as soon as absentee ballots and early votes were counted.

The Norman police officer, ultimately, won by more than 9,600 votes, receiving roughly 60 percent of all votes cast, according to unofficial election results from the Oklahoma Election Board.

Sheriff Taylor received about 40 percent of votes.

“I’d love to thank P.D. Taylor for his service because 49 years in a profession is no small feat,” Officer Johnson said.

“But it is truly an honor to be the Republican candidate.

“We’ll continue to work hard and show our passion and show these people that I really love and truly believe in this work, and I can take this community and agency to a better place.”

Officer Johnson said he’ll focus on fiscal responsibility, building community partnerships and an increased patrol presence in the unincorporated portions of the county.

Officer Cubit has promised to increase agency transparency, provide mental health support to county residents in crisis and implement criminal justice reforms at the agency level.

Tuesday’s Republican runoff pitted Taylor’s nearly 50 years of law enforcement experience against Johnson’s offer of a fresh perspective at the sheriff’s office amid a serious agency shakeup now that the sheriff no longer manages the Oklahoma County Jail.

Sheriff Taylor, 74, has held the position since 2017.

His term had several successes; e.g., lowering the death rate of inmates inside of the county jail and staying within his allotted county budget.

But the jail’s various other problems continued to plague him, and strife with the Oklahoma County Jail Trust and a public disagreement with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency have followed Sheriff Taylor in recent months.

A dark money group funded by outside, anonymous donors poured more than $75,000 into mailers and TV ads against Taylor in the days leading up to Tuesday’s runoff.

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