Republican voters selected Greg Childers in a battle of political newcomers Tuesday to be their nominee to fill an unexpired state Senate seat that covers southern Oklahoma County and northern Cleveland County.
Childers, of Del City, won 58.4 percent of the votes cast in the special Republican primary election. Theresa Nelson, of Oklahoma City, garnered 41.6 percent.
Unofficial results show Childers, 41, beating Nelson, 45, by a vote of 907-646. The state Election Board is scheduled to certify the results Aug. 16.
Voter turnout was light as expected.
About 9.6 percent of registered Republicans in the Senate District 43 race voted.
A low turnout was expected because it was the only item on the ballot and special elections that occur in the summer usually don't attract many voters.
Childers now will face Kenneth Meador, of Moore, the only Democrat in the race in an Oct. 11 election.
The winner will serve the remaining year left in the District 43 seat.
“I'm very excited; I'm very happy,” Childers said Tuesday night. “A lot of hard work paid off.”
Childers attributed his win to going door-to-door to meet voters.
“We ran a very clean, honest campaign and we went door-to-door just constant — day after day, day after day, day after day,” he said.
Childers, who out-raised Nelson by more than a 2-1 margin, loaned his campaign $1,000, according to a last-minute campaign report he filed Tuesday with the state Ethics Commission.
He said he used the money to pay for additional campaign fliers.
Childers raised $16,750. Nelson reported raising $7,454.
Nelson issued a statement Tuesday night thanking God for giving her strength and direction during the campaign.
“I could not have done it without His spiritual guidance,” Nelson said. “Secondly, I want to thank all my family and friends who volunteered countless hours and contributed financially as well to my campaign.”
Nelson also asked Childers, who received $9,000, or more than half his contributions, from political action committees “to cut all ties with the special interest groups who have tainted our district during this primary campaign.”
The Senate District 43 post will be up for election again in November 2012, although it will move south to cover all or parts of McClain, Garvin, Stephens and Grady counties.
The Senate District 43 seat was reconfigured and will be moved as part of the Senate redistricting plan that was approved this year.
The plan establishes the districts for a 10-year period beginning January 2013.
The seat was held by Jim Reynolds, of Oklahoma City, who was elected Cleveland County's treasurer in November.
He resigned his Senate seat in July.
Childers said he plans to run next year for the full four-year term of Senate District 43.
He said he plans to move to the Newcastle or Blanchard area, which will be in the new Senate District 43.