Drummond changes mind—concedes loss to AG Hunter

He lost by less than 300 votes to Attorney General Mike Hunter but it wasn’t until Wednesday afternoon before  Tulsa businessman and rancher Gentner Drummond admitted defeat.

He originally told reporters Tuesday night that the final count difference of less than 300 was enough for him  not to concede. But sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon, he reversed his stance. The final vote difference was 269.

On Wednesday, he explained he made the decision in the spirit of uniting Republicans as they look to November. He said a challenge would only be a distraction.

“The primary election cycle was negative and divisive, but now is the time for healing and for unity. To my opponent, Mr. Hunter, I wanted to say congratulations on a hard fought victory and I wish you the very best of luck in November,” Drummond said.

Drummond promised his support to his primary opponent, Mike Hunter, who thanked Drummond for conceding so quickly and offering to back the party and Hunter despite a negative campaign from both sides through Tuesday.

Hunter said he and Drummond had essentially buried the hatchet on their differences and Drummond said he had no regrets about the campaign that was so divisive and now has them saying they agree.

Mike Hunter released the following statement after receiving the Republican nomination for Attorney General:

“I sincerely appreciate Mr. Drummond’s concession and his support going forward.

“Whatever our differences may have been, we share common goals and vision for the state and the Attorney General’s Office. Protecting Oklahoma families, defending our way of life and standing up against outsiders who seek to do us harm. Those are the guiding principles my office has stood behind and what will continue being our magnetic north.

“We need to remember, the role of the Attorney General is not a partisan role. Criminals don’t discriminate between Republicans and Democrats when they prey on the vulnerable. Opioids are not more addictive for members of one party than the other, and justice denied for one is justice denied for all. I will continue to run the Attorney General’s office with integrity and a focus on protecting and serving all Oklahomans.

“As we move forward past the runoff and on to the November general election in a unified front, I can sum it up best by quoting President Abraham Lincoln in his first inaugural address, when he said – “we are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

Drummond finished the evening with 148,085 votes or 49.95%, just behind the 148,354 votes or 50.05% for Hunter.