Shawnee and Tulsa have new Senators after Ron Sharp, a retired Shawnee High School teacher, and Nathan Dahm, a former missionary, won Tuesday runoff elections.
Because neither race drew candidates from the Democratic or independent parties, the Republicans fortified their stronghold Tuesday night in the Senate by two seats leading up to the November general election that will determine victors in 13 other seats.
Sharp, 60, defeated fellow Republican Ed Moore, a Baptist minister from Shawnee, in a very close runoff election for Senate District 17, which is in parts of Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties.
Sharp had 1,705 votes or 52 percent and Moore had 1,608 votes or 48 percent of the votes.
“It was a close one,” Sharp said. “It took a team effort to win this race.”
Sharp said he's going to represent the entire district: Choctaw, Jones, Luther, McLoud.
“They're all going to see me,” he said. “There's not going to be any part of District 17 that doesn't see me. I want them to know that they will have access to their Senator.”
The district lines had been considerably redrawn for the seat before the June primary and no Democrats, including nine-year incumbent Sen. Charlie Laster, of Shawnee, filed for the seat.
In the primary two months ago, Moore had a slight lead and received 34 percent of the vote and Sharp 31 percent. Because neither candidate received a majority in the four-candidate race, they had to meet in the Tuesday runoff.
Tulsan wins election
Republicans also gained a seat in the Tulsa Senate race where incumbent Sen. Tom Adelson, D-Tulsa, didn't seek re-election following redistricting.