clear
Monday November 20th, 2017 4:19AM
8:34AM ( 19 hours ago ) Weather Alert

Democrats capture GOP-held state seat in red Oklahoma

By The Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Democratic schoolteacher defeated a Republican businessman in a special election for an Oklahoma state House seat in a traditionally GOP district, making it the third GOP-held seat Democrats have captured in special elections in the red state this year.

Unofficial election results from Tuesday's election show Democrat Jacob Rosecrants won 60 percent of the vote over Republican Darin Chambers for the House District 46 seat in west Norman, despite a nearly 3,000 voter-registration advantage for the GOP there.

Republicans still hold a 72-28 edge in the Oklahoma House, but Democrats have been chipping away at GOP advantages in the Legislature.

Rosecrants and Chambers were vying to replace Republican former state Rep. Scott Martin, who resigned in May to take a position as director of the Norman Chamber of Commerce.

A seventh-grade geography teacher, Rosecrants focused on improving public education. He also tapped into growing voter frustration over state budget problems and several recent sex scandals involving Republican officials.

On the day of the election, a Republican state senator resigned from office after an Uber driver told police he grabbed her head and kissed her neck while she drove him to a bar in June. Former state Sen. Bryce Marlatt, a married father of four from Woodward, was the third GOP state legislator to resign from office this year amid a sex scandal in Oklahoma.

State Rep. Dan Kirby resigned in February after being accused of sexually harassing two former legislative assistants, and ex-state Sen. Ralph Shortey was indicted in federal court last week on charges of child sex trafficking and producing and transporting child pornography. In both of those Republican-leaning districts, Democratic candidates defeated Republicans in special elections.

Republicans in Oklahoma hold a 3-to-1 advantage in legislative seats along with every statewide elected office, both U.S. Senate seats and all five U.S. House seats. But Democrats are hoping to build on the momentum of victories in special elections.

Democratic candidates for governor in 2018 already are hammering on budget and education issues as term-limited Republican Mary Fallin leaves office, and Democrats believe the congressional seat held by Republican Rep. Steve Russell in Oklahoma City could be within reach.

Funding for public schools and other services has dwindled in recent years as the Legislature cut taxes on both individual income and oil and natural gas production. The state has grappled with budget shortfalls since oil and gas prices plummeted around 2014. Schoolteachers haven't had a raise in a decade, and over the past three years, state funding for public schools has declined by more than $48 million, even as student enrollment increased by nearly 8,000.

"Right now our state is failing because of Republican leadership," said Oklahoma Democratic Party Chair Anna Langthorn. "I think (Rosecrant's victory) is indicative of the trend that Oklahomans are frustrated, they're paying attention and that we'll continue to see success in 2018 and we'll probably surprise a lot of people."

___

Follow Sean Murphy at www.twitter.com/apseanmurphy

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General House Election News, AP Business, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Utilities
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
5 die at nursing home as death toll in Irma's wake mounts
Five patients at a Hollywood nursing home have died in Hurricane Irma's aftermath as people confront a multitude of new hazards in the storm's wake, including oppressive heat, brush-clearing accidents, house fires and poisonous fumes from generators
11:08AM ( 13 minutes ago )
AP interview: Ryan won't say tax cut won't raise deficit
House Speaker Paul Ryan is declining to say a tax overhaul Republicans are trying to write won't increase federal deficits
11:05AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Romanian coast guards rescues 157 migrants from Black Sea
Romania's coast guard rescues 157 migrants from a ship in distress on the Black Sea on what is becoming a new route for migrants trying to reach Western Europe
10:50AM ( 31 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Menendez's corruption trial resumes with FBI agent testimony
The bribery trial of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez and a wealthy donor has resumed with testimony from an FBI agent who investigated the New Jersey Democrat beginning in 2013
10:24AM ( 58 minutes ago )
The Latest: Ryan says tax overhaul plan to come this month
House Speaker Paul Ryan says the White House and congressional Republicans will release an outline of their tax overhaul plan by the end of the month
10:18AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Trump's tax talks 'productive,' White House says
The White House says President Donald Trump's dinner with Republican and Democratic senators to talk taxes was "highly productive" and will "spur constructive discussion."
9:11AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Sanders, GOP push banner health care bills
Both parties are ready to roll out health care bills that make statements but have little chance of quickly becoming law
4:08AM ( 7 hours ago )
Fifth man's charges of abuse lead Seattle mayor to resign
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, beset over the past five months by sex abuse allegations, is set to resign, bringing an ignoble end to a lengthy political career in which he championed gay rights and better pay for workers
12:14AM ( 11 hours ago )
De Blasio wins Democratic primary for New York City mayor
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has handily defeated a crowded field of challengers to win the Democratic mayoral primary as he continues his quest for a second term as the leader of the country's largest city
11:32PM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
The Latest: Sanders forces universal health care issue
Sen. Bernie Sanders is forcing the Democratic Party to take sides over his proposal to provide government-run health care for all
4:36PM ( 18 hours ago )
Hillary Clinton signs copies of new book at NYC bookstore
Hundreds of people have crowded into a New York City bookstore to see Hillary Clinton as she promotes her new book on the 2016 presidential campaign
3:52PM ( 19 hours ago )
White House accuses Clinton of 'reckless attacks' in book
The White House is accusing former campaign rival Hillary Clinton of "propping up book sales with false and reckless attacks."
3:40PM ( 19 hours ago )
AP Elections
GOP Rep. Charlie Dent announces retirement from House
Republican Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, a moderate who had been sharply critical of President Donald Trump, has announced he will not seek re-election an eighth House term next year
8:27PM ( 5 days ago )
Top Republican woman in US Congress draws Democratic rival
The top woman in House Republican leadership has drawn a Democratic challenger
2:50PM ( 1 week ago )
Kremlin confirms Trump's lawyer reached out about deal
The Kremlin has confirmed that President Donald Trump's personal lawyer has reached out to them during the 2016 presidential campaign, seeking help for a business project in Russia
3:46PM ( 1 week ago )
General House Election News
5 die at nursing home as death toll in Irma's wake mounts
Five patients at a Hollywood nursing home have died in Hurricane Irma's aftermath as people confront a multitude of new hazards in the storm's wake, including oppressive heat, brush-clearing accidents, house fires and poisonous fumes from generators
11:08AM ( 13 minutes ago )
AP interview: Ryan won't say tax cut won't raise deficit
House Speaker Paul Ryan is declining to say a tax overhaul Republicans are trying to write won't increase federal deficits
11:05AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Romanian coast guards rescues 157 migrants from Black Sea
Romania's coast guard rescues 157 migrants from a ship in distress on the Black Sea on what is becoming a new route for migrants trying to reach Western Europe
10:50AM ( 32 minutes ago )
Clinton's book publisher questions reviews from Amazon users
The publisher of Hillary Clinton's new book "What Happened" is questioning Amazon reviews posted within a day of the book's release
10:49AM ( 33 minutes ago )
AP NewsBreak: $20M-$30M Picasso portrait of muse up for sale
A late Picasso portrait of his paramour Jacqueline Roque is going up for auction for the first time, with an estimated price of up to $30 million
10:48AM ( 34 minutes ago )