1994 Oklahoma gubernatorial election

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1994 Oklahoma gubernatorial election

← 1990 November 8, 1994 1998 →
  Frank Keating at a conference, Oct 20, 2001 - cropped.jpg Jack Mildren.jpg WesWatkins.jpg
Nominee Frank Keating Jack Mildren Wes Watkins
Party Republican Democratic Independent
Popular vote 466,740 294,936 233,336
Percentage 46.9% 29.6% 23.5%

Oklahoma gubernatorial election, 1994 results by county.svg
Results by county

Governor before election

David Walters

Elected Governor

Frank Keating

The Oklahoma gubernatorial election of 1994 was held on November 8, 1994, and was a race for the Governor of Oklahoma. Former United States Associate Attorney General Frank Keating pulled an upset in the three-way race to become only the third Republican governor in Oklahoma history. This can largely be attributed to the split Democratic vote between nominee Jack Mildren and former Democratic congressman Wes Watkins. Watkins' performance in the election, obtaining 24% of the vote & carrying numerous counties with some by wide margins, is one of the most notable performances for a third party candidate in modern U.S. history.



  • Jack Mildren, Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma
  • Danny Williams
  • Bernice Shedrick
  • Joe Vickers



Democratic primary[edit]

Lt. Governor Jack Mildren and Bernice Shedrick advanced to the runoff where both candidates received vote totals similar to the first primary, securing the win for Mildren.


Democratic primary results[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jack Mildren 214,765 48.6
Democratic Bernice Shedrick 165,066 37.3
Democratic Danny Williams 46,571 10.6
Democratic Joe Vickers 15,821 3.6
Total votes 442,223 100.00
Democratic runoff primary results[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jack Mildren 223,861 58.8
Democratic Bernice Shedrick 156,749 41.2
Total votes 380,610 100.00

Republican primary[edit]

Frank Keating, a former assistant attorney general and member of the Reagan and Bush administrations, defeated four other Republicans to win the GOP nomination.


Republican primary results [3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Frank Keating 117,265 56.9
Republican Jerry Pierce 60,280 29.3
Republican Virginia Hale 15,229 7.4
Republican Thomas H. Lay 7,744 3.8
Republican Jerry Kobyluk 5,429 2.6
Total votes 205,947 100.00

General Election[edit]


Source Date Keating (R) Mildren (D) Watkins (I)
KSWO-TV Nov. 4, 1994 40% 39% 15%
Tulsa World Nov. 1, 1994 28% 29% 21%


1994 gubernatorial election, Oklahoma
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Frank Keating 466,740 46.9
Democratic Jack Mildren 294,936 29.6
Independent Wes Watkins 233,336 23.5
Republican gain from Democratic Swing

See also[edit]