For the first time ever, an elected Republican will lead the State Department of Education.
Janet Barresi won a commanding victory Tuesday for state schools superintendent.
Barresi ran on a platform of education reform, drawing on her experience founding two charter schools in Oklahoma City.
â€œWe're going to get some rest and then start the busy work of transition,â€ Barresi said. â€œWe are going to be assembling a first-rate team, focusing on budget issues making sure we get as much money in classrooms as possible.â€
With 84 percent of the precincts reporting, Barresi had 55 percent of the votes to Democratic candidate Susan Paddack's 38 percent. Richard Cooper, an independent candidate, received 7 percent.
Paddack, a state senator who has two years remaining in her second term, said she will continue her life's work in education by serving her district in the Senate.
â€œThe results tonight clearly reflect that people are not happy with what's happening at the federal level,â€ Paddack said. â€œI think someone said â€˜it's a tsunami tonight.