OKLAHOMA CITY — A Democratic school teacher defeated a Republican businessman Tuesday in a special election for a House seat in west Norman, making it the third Republican-held seat Democrats have captured in special elections this year.
According to unofficial election results, Democrat Jacob Rosecrants collected 60 percent of the vote to defeat Republican Darin Chambers in the race for House District 46, where Republicans had a nearly 3,000 voter-registration advantage. The two were vying to replace former GOP state Rep. Scott Martin, who resigned in May to take a position as director of the Norman Chamber of Commerce.
In Tulsa’s Senate District 37, Republican voters selected Brian O’Hara in a winner-take-all primary to replace outgoing Republican state Sen. Dan Newberry. O’Hara, who attracted nearly 42 percent of the vote in a seven-person GOP field, will face Democrat Allison Ikley-Freeman on Nov. 14. Republicans have a nearly 10,000-voter advantage in the district, which includes sections of Sand Springs, Jenks and Tulsa.
Forty of the state’s 77 counties held a variety of special elections, including school bond proposals, town council seats, alcohol sales and more than $1 billion in improvements in Oklahoma City.
Among the ballot items were tax hikes and a general obligation bond package in Oklahoma City for road, public safety, parks and other city improvements. The 15 separate proposals include a 10-year, $967 million bond package, a permanent quarter-cent sales tax increase pay for additional police and firefighters, and a 27-month extension of a 1-cent sales tax for streets, sidewalks, trails and bicycle infrastructure.
Voters in Oklahoma County also were electing a new sheriff after longtime Sheriff John Whetsel resigned in February amid an investigation into his office’s finances. Among those seeking the post were Republican P.D. Taylor, Democrat Mike Hanson and independent Ed Grimes.
In Jefferson County in southern Oklahoma, voters were deciding whether to allow the sale of liquor by the drink in its restaurants. The county is one of just 17 in Oklahoma that does not allow such sales.
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