Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Rep. Stone resigns, will donate campaign funds to help pay for special election

It's been a while since we had a legislative resignation. It was all the rage back in 2017, with the majority of those coming due to some sort of misbehavior or scandal.

Rep. Shane Stone (D-OKC) is stepping down to "pursue opportunities away from state politics and the legislature", and has pledged to delegate his campaign funds to the state election board for the purpose of helping alleviate the costs of a special election. The most recent ethics reports show that Stone had a total of $18,964.99 in his campaign account as of October 31st.

It looks as if this move had been planned for some time. One candidate - Democrat Jose Cruz - has filed with the Ethics Commission for the seat currently held by Stone. In the most recent quarterly report (the only report filed by Cruz thus far), four Democratic legislators are listed as donating: Sen. Michael Brooks (D-OKC), Rep. Forrest Bennett (D-OKC), Rep. Jason Dunnington (D-OKC), and Rep. Collin Walke (D-OKC). It seems highly unlikely that Cruz would receive this support from Stone's colleagues without his blessing and advance knowledge of his pending departure.

House District 89 has never been held by a Republican. With a Republican District Rating of 28.1, it is the sixth least Republican district in the state house, eighth least in the legislature.


Stone Announces December Departure from Legislature

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Shane Stone (D-OKC) has announced today that he will be leaving the legislature before his term is complete in 2020.

In order to pursue opportunities away from state politics and the legislature, Stone has submitted a letter to the Governor's office to end his tenure as the District 89 representative on​ Dec. 31, 2019.

“Representing South Side Oklahoma City has been a life-changing and rewarding experience,” Stone said. “I will always think fondly of my time advocating for the communities in Oklahoma City that rarely get recognized at our Capitol. We have suffered losses together, and we have celebrated victories. However, a time has come where I can no longer give the same dedication to this job that I have in the past. Because of this, I have opted to move aside and help find someone who can provide this district with the representation it needs.”

Stone said outside of leaving the opportunity to advocate for his community, he will miss the friends he has made in the legislature.

“When you fight next to people for years for change that can transform the lives of Oklahomans through expanding education and healthcare, when you are attacked by special interests together, when you face the ups and downs of the Capitol together, you build a unique and special bond,” Stone said. “I have had the opportunity to work with many, many great people in the legislature, from both sides of the aisle, that I admire and will consider a friend for the rest of my life.”

Honoring a commitment he made during a debate a few years ago in the legislature, Stone will delegate campaign funds to the election board to go toward a special election to name his successor.

“I made a comment during a debate that lawmakers who leave their seat early should help pay, to the best of their ability, for the special election to replace them,” Stone said. “I still believe that today and will act accordingly.”

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