Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Democrats flip SD37, GOP holds HD76 and SD45



Three legislative special elections were held today - House District 76 (vacated by Rep. David Brumbaugh's death), Senate District 37 (vacated by Sen. Dan Newberry resigning for a private sector job), and Senate District 45 (vacated by Sen. Kyle Loveless' resignation over campaign finance violations).

All three seats were Republican-held. Democrats last won SD37 in 1996 (although Nancy Riley switched from Republican to Democrat in the middle of her final term in 2006), SD45 in 1976, and never in HD76.

In HD76 (Republican District Rating of 61.9), Republican Ross Ford won with 68.35% of the vote . In SD45 (RDR of 59.5), Republican Paul Rosino got 56.78% of the vote.

In a nailbiter of a race in SD37 (RDR of 57.6), Democrat Allison Ikley-Freeman defeated Republican Brian O'Hara by 31 votes, 2234 (50.35%) to 2203 (49.65%). The vote was close enough that O'Hara might seek a recount; either way, due to Newberry's resignation date being January 31st, 2018, the winner won't be sworn in until February 1st, 2018.

Ikley-Freeman (a therapist at a nonprofit mental health agency) defeated O'Hara (a former Jenks city councilor and district director for Cong. Bridenstine) by virtue of receiving 60 more votes on election day, while O'Hara led the absentee and early voting total by 29. Ikley-Freeman becomes the third openly homosexual individual (she is married to another lesbian) to be elected to the Oklahoma Legislature, and the first outside of the HD88/SD46 area in Oklahoma City.

Democrats have now won 4 of the 7 special elections held this year (HD46, HD75, SD37, SD44).

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