Oklahoma House Republicans to control record number of seats

An Oklahoma GOP House leader says the increasing number of registered Republican voters and frustration with the federal government should help House Republicans reach a record high majority of 71 members.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Modified: November 7, 2012 at 1:03 am •  Published: November 6, 2012
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“Oklahoma is a conservative state,” Hickman said. “Obviously our registration is trending more Republican than Democrat at this point in history. A lot of that has to do what's happening nationally … frustration with the federal government, the spending, the debt, the policies of this president.”

Minority Leader Scott Inman, D-Del City, said Tuesday night during an interview with the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority that Democrats were hoping to hold onto 31 seats. Two years ago, Democrats lost three open seats and lost five incumbents.

“Tonight every single one of our incumbents is coming back,” he said. “We have an opportunity to get back to 31, which is where we failed to last time around to kind of hold our own.

“When you look at the head winds that we're up against, if we come out tonight with 30, 31 or 32, that's a successful night for the House Democratic caucus,” Inman said.

Republicans appeared headed to win 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.

House District 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, was ahead of Democrat Matt Branstetter, of Noble.

House District 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.

Republicans 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; and Gary Banz, of Midwest City, won re-election.

Democratic Reps. William Fourkiller, of Stilwell, Wade Rousselot, of Okay, 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 was ahead in the House District 71 race in Tulsa, which remained unfilled after Dan Sullivan resigned in December.



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