MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Oklahoma News

April 9, 2014

Hopefuls spend night at Capitol for prime position in line

OKLAHOMA CITY — Max Wolfley spent Tuesday night napping in a hard metal folding chair in a hallway at the state Capitol with his 12-year-old son by his side.

With years of practice spending nights in line for Black Friday sales, the Oklahoma City father of eight was determined to be first to put his name on the ballot for the state elections.

Wolfley and his family planted themselves just outside the doors to the election filing location in the Capitol on Tuesday afternoon. Then they waited.

“They were willing to help me get out the message,” said Wolfley, a high school math teacher and Republican who’s running for the District 95 House seat.

Wolfley noted he was pretty tired moments before the doors finally swung open to admit the first of what was expected to be hundreds of people filing papers to run for offices ranging from U.S. senator to state representative.

By the time filing opened at 8 a.m., the line of would-be candidates was about 100 deep.

“Look natural,” shouted Sean Cummings as he prepared to snap quick shots of his wife, Cathy, who was filing as a Democrat for lieutenant governor.

As soon as Cathy Cummings was finished with her paperwork, the two were headed to Muskogee to campaign and meet with business owners.

Clutching a cup of coffee, Greg Brown, a Republican running for the House District 82 seat, arrived at 5 a.m. That placed him firmly in the line’s No 2. spot, which for the past few elections had been held by Rep. Brian Renegar, D-McAlester.

“I’m trying to be first in line because you get the media coverage,” Brown said, noting he was running a low-budget campaign. “I was shocked to find (Wolfley.) I thought I’d be the first one here.”

Janelle Stecklein is the Oklahoma state reporter for CNHI.

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