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Nail-biter finish gives Oklahoma House Republicans a record majority

The Democratic challenger, who lost by 18 votes, is considering a recount in the House District 45 race in Norman. Election officials still have to review 69 provisional ballots in that race.

BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Published: November 8, 2012
/articleid/3726616/1/pictures/1878892">Photo - State Rep.-elect David Perryman D-Chickasha, District 56
State Rep.-elect David Perryman D-Chickasha, District 56

Historically blue seats

Republicans won two traditional Democratic seats, House District 20 and House District 60, which were moved geographically to the Oklahoma City metro area as a part of last year’s redistricting plan to match population shifts based on the 2010 census. The new districts take effect next week after House members are sworn into office for the 54th Oklahoma Legislature that will meet in 2013 and 2014. Both incumbents couldn’t seek re-election because of term limits.

HD 20 has been moved from heavily Democratic southern Oklahoma north to an area that covers parts of Cleveland, Garvin, McClain and Pottawatomie counties. Republican Bobby Cleveland, of Slaughterville, defeated Democrat Matt Branstetter, of Noble.

HD 60 carves out sections of Canadian and Caddo counties. It now covers the western Oklahoma counties of Beckham, Ellis, Greer, Harmon and Roger Mills. The Rev. Dan Fisher, of El Reno, a Republican, defeated Democrat Kendra Menz-Kimble, of Hinton.

Incumbent winners

Republican Reps. John Bennett, of Sallisaw; Tom Newell, of Seminole; Steve Vaughan, of Ponca City; Pat Ownbey, of Ardmore; Dustin Roberts, of Durant; Leslie Osborn, of Mustang; Randy McDaniel, of Oklahoma City; Jason Nelson, of Oklahoma City; Lisa Billy, of Lindsay; Josh Cockroft, of Tecumseh; Skye McNiel, of Bristow; Sean Roberts, of Hominy; Jadine Nollan, of Sand Springs; David Brumbaugh, of Broken Arrow; and Gary Banz, of Midwest City, won re-election.

Democratic Reps. William Fourkiller, of Stilwell; James Lockhart, of Heavener; Jerry Shoemake, of Morris; Wade Rousselot, of Okay; Jeannie McDaniel, of Tulsa; Seneca Scott, of Tulsa; and Anastasia Pittman, of Oklahoma City, won re-election.

Democrats kept the House District 88 seat vacated by Al McAffrey, who was elected to the state Senate in a special election earlier this year. Democrat Kay Floyd beat Republican Aaron Kaspereit for the Oklahoma City seat.

Republican Katie Henke won the House District 71 race in Tulsa, which remained unfilled after Republican Dan Sullivan resigned in December. She won 53.2 percent of the vote to defeat Democrat Dan Arthrell.

Henke and Arthrell both sought the post earlier this year. Henke lost the race in an April 3 special election by three votes to Arthrell. A manual recount of the votes a week later showed Henke won by a single vote. But shortly after the Tulsa County Election Board certified the recount results, two ballots — both cast for Arthrell — were found by precinct workers, which if counted, would have made him the winner by one vote. The matter went to the Oklahoma Supreme Court, which ruled it was impossible to determine with mathematical certainty who won and threw out the election results.

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