Could corruption probe temper Republican gains?
A political corruption investigation into allegations that some lawmakers encouraged the state Medical Examiner’s Office to hire Sen. Debbe Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City could have a wider impact on state house races this fall.
Republicans hold a comfortable majority in the House and in the Senate Republicans have a slim 26-22 majority.
But the outcome of a political corruption investigation could have a far reaching impact, one pundit says. The investigation was intiated by Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater. Prater has launched a political corruption investigation into allegations that Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore and Rep. Mike Christian, R-Oklahoma City, conspired to get Leftwich an $80,000 job as overseeing the move of the Medical Examiner’s office to the University of Central Oklahoma campus. In return, Leftwich would not run for re-election in her southern Oklahoma City seat.
The case is expected to go before a multi-county grand jury on July 19. Because the proceedings of a grand jury are secret, the result may not be known until after the July primary.
Terrill who has been named in the probe is up for re-election. There is no challenger from the Republican party, but he will face Amy Corley, a Democrat from Newalla, in the November election. Terrill, who is a regular in local media broadcasts and never seems to shy away from a media question has been noticeably absent from the public eye since the allegations surfaced. Terrill filed for re-election, but did not appear to file his declaration of candidacy. A surrogate filed a notarized statement for him.
This election cycle is expected to be good for Republicans, who hope to capitalize on seats vacated by long-term Democrats because of term limits. University of Oklahoma political science Professor Keith Gaddie, said it likely be a fruitful year for the GOP, but the corruption probe could temper the disdain the average Oklahoma voter has for what’s going on in Washington, D.C. in the Democrat controlled Congress.
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