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Oklahoma's Rep. Aaron Stiles wins close re-election

Increasing number of registered Republican voters and frustration with the federal government said to be factors in helping House Republicans reach a record-high members in the 101-member House of Representatives.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Capitol Bureau mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: November 7, 2012
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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,” Inman 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,” he said.

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.

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, defeated 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, 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, 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 Dan Sullivan resigned in December. She won 53.2 percent of the vote. Henke lost the race in an April 3 special election by three votes to Democrat Dan 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.