By Tim Farley
Two Canadian County commissioners swept to victory with each earning another four-year term Tuesday night.
District 1 incumbent Marc Hader gained 72.5 percent of the total vote while Libertarian candidate Marcus Hall raked in 27 percent.
Hader was humble as he talked about the final outcome.
“I really didn’t have specific expectations. I just wanted to put ourselves in a position to win. We’re delighted and it’s an honor to serve,” he said.
Despite the overwhelming win, Hader wasn’t totally satisfied since more than 4,000 people cast their ballots for Hall.
“I took it as a barometer that some people are unhappy,” the incumbent said. “You’re not going to please everyone all the time, but it shows me there are things to work on.”
Hader wants to continue operational audits for county departments during his next term while also building a stronger level of trust and cohesion with the voters.
Hall was realistic about his chances of victory against an incumbent in a red county.
“I was cautiously optimistic but it ended up like I thought it would,” he said. “Overcoming that Republican name was hard to overcome, especially in Canadian County.”
In the District 3 race, incumbent Jack Stewart swept past Independent Daniel Pugh with 60 percent of the total vote. Stewart garnered 7,782 votes (60 percent) compared to Pugh’s 5,085 (40 percent).
Stewart was not available for comment late Tuesday, but Pugh said he was sad with the outcome.
“It’s a loss, but it’s nothing to sneeze at. It’s very difficult to overcome a two-term incumbent in a red county, but it was good to hear from people during the campaign who promised they would vote for me. Ninety percent of the people I talked to when I was holding my sign on the street corner don’t like what the commissioners are doing,” he said.
Pugh operated a self-funded campaign with some donations from family and a few friends, he said. Pugh congratulated Stewart on the victory.
“He’s going to have another four years and I hope he’s in tune with the people,” Pugh said. “But don’t think I’m gone. I might run again in four years.”
In other county races, Jack McCurdy defeated John Paul Jordan. McCurdy, a Canadian County Special Judge, collected more than 68 percent of the vote. Jordan suspended his campaign in October after revealing state law prevented him from holding an elected position within two years of leaving public office. Jordan was a state legislator the past four years.
Meanwhile, Canadian County Associate District Judge Bob Hughey won re-election by defeating private attorney Rachel Bussett. Hughey, who has never had an opponent, collected 52.2 percent of the vote compared to Bussett’s 47.7 percent. Bussett suspended her campaign late last week for personal reasons.