Democratic Gov. George Nigh easily won renomination yesterday in Oklahoma in his bid for an unprecedented second term, while Republican state auditor Tom Daxon won the right to oppose him in November.
With 1,747 of 2,394 precincts reporting, Nigh had 289,661 votes to 58,389 for his lone opponent, storm-window manufacturer Howard L. Bell of Blanchard.
Nigh, 55, has served eight years in the state House, 16 years as lieutenant governor and the last four as governor. No governor has served more than one term in Oklahoma's 75 years of statehood.
With 1,756 precincts counted, Daxon had 56,949 votes, House Minority Leader Neal McCaleb had 25,429 and political novice Don House 3,511.
Oklahoma voters also were asked to approve creation of a trust fund to salt away some of the state's current big surpluses from oil and gas. If approved, only the interest income could be spent before 1992, when the trust would expire and the state may be running out of gas and oil. Early returns were split evenly.
In the 1st Congressional District, three Republicans competed for the right to meet Democratic Budget Committee Chairman James R. Jones in November. Jones, seeking his sixth term, was unopposed in the Democratic primary.
In the GOP race, Richard C. Freeman, a Tulsa aircraft executive defeated by Jones two years ago, had more than half of the votes in early returns against Robert J. Nichols and A. Carl Suggs Jr.
Democratic incumbent Wes Watkins was nominated over Leland Kelly by an 8-to-1 ratio in the only other congressional primary, in the 3rd District.
In Alaska, where 12 men were in close races to succeed Gov. Jay S. Hammond, who is not allowed to seek another term, definitive election results were not expected until today.
Leading the Republican field were Lt. Gov. Terry Miller, the early favorite who trailed slightly in final polls behind state House Speaker Tom Fink, a staunch conservative.
Among Democrats, state Rep. Steve Cowper and hotel manager Bill Sheffield were in a tight race, with former Lt. Gov. H.A. (Red) Boucher trailing the field.
Alaska is the Libertarian Party's strongest bastion, and state Rep. Dick Randolph, the nation's first Libertarian elected to public office, will be a factor in the fall contest.
Oil is a big issue in Alaska, where $3 billion in revenue must be returned to the people. This year, the state has mailed $1,000 checks to every man, woman and child born before Oct. 15, but that has proved unpopular.