A special election will be held later this year for Senate District 43, which straddles Oklahoma and Cleveland counties, but will be swallowed up by five neighboring districts for the 2012
The change is a result of the Senate's redistricting plan, Senate Bill 821, which is on its way to Gov. Mary Fallin for approval.
District 43 Sen. Jim Reynolds, R-
Reynolds said Wednesday his attorneys are preparing a resignation letter from his Senate seat that would be effective the first week of July. State law prohibits holding more than one elected office.
Reynolds' District 43 was moved south to McClain, Garvin and Stephens counties under the Senate's new map. Under the plan, current District 43 constituents will be split among five GOP Senate districts in south Oklahoma County and north Cleveland County. Most of them will be in Republican Sen. Steve Russell's redrawn District 45.
Reynolds said he offered his district number to redistricting leaders so the new boundaries would cause the least disruption.
“My district was at one point up in Tulsa and then north Oklahoma City and as a new minority district, but it ended up in Duncan,” Reynolds said of the various plans to redraw the Senate map. “At the end of the day, it's special to me, but it's a number.”
The redrawn districts will be effective for the 2012 elections, when senators in odd-
No date set yet
Once Gov. Mary Fallin receives Reynolds' Senate resignation letter, she will have 30 days to set a special election date to fill his seat under its current boundaries.
Alex Weintz, Fallin's spokesman, said no
Among those planning to run for the Senate District 43 seat was Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, R-
Wesselhoft raised almost $15,900 in January and early February before the legislative session
He also transferred another $9,988 from a previous campaign account, according to reports filed with the state Ethics Commission.
Wesselhoft already spent money on signs and campaign software.
However, the new boundaries for District 43 may dissuade Wesselhoft from seeking the seat in a special election and for a full Senate term in 2012.
Wesselhoft said Wednesday he's still considering his options.
Wesselhoft's house is now in Sen. Jonathan Nichols' District 15. Nichols is term-
“I live almost in the middle of District 43, so I made the assumption that if they tweak the district, it's not going to affect me because I live in the middle of it,” Wesselhoft said. “If I'd lived on the border, I wouldn't have done anything until this thing was settled. I had no idea the entire district would move down to Duncan.”
District to change
Political observers said the redrawn Senate District 43 itself will see changes over the next decade.
“That's a suburban-
View several interactive sliding maps
of the new state House and Senate districts.