(Editor’s Note: As with NonDoc’s #HotRaces series from June, time constraints and limited resources prohibit us from personally interviewing each of almost 30 candidates from Oklahoma’s ongoing runoff elections that we’ve chosen to include in a new series: #OKrunoffs. Instead, we’ve opted to filter information about runoff contenders using publicly available information online and present it through the lens of political commentary and analysis. As the field narrows leading up to the general election Nov. 8, we plan to reach out to remaining candidates more directly.)
OKC Republicans are seeking to win back House District 85 in November. The seat, occupied by former reps Odilia and David Dank for two decades, turned blue in a September 2015 special election.
Now, Rep. Cyndi Munson (D-OKC) awaits a November challenger who will be determined during Oklahoma’s Aug. 23 runoff election.
“Conservative family man” and Troop 120 Scoutmaster Matt Jackson has run for office before, falling to Sen. David Holt (R-OKC) in a 2010 primary for Senate District 30 and placing third out of four Republicans who sought House District 85 in the 2015 special-election primary.
This election season, the longtime Boy Scout made it to the runoff with 46 percent of the primary vote.
Jackson’s about page offers three paragraphs of bio: He used to be a deputy sheriff in an unnamed county; he and his wife have five kids; he is the VP of a small business that sells something or other to law enforcement agencies; and he’s 100 percent pro-life.
It also features 35 photos in a slideshow that ranges from canned campaign pics to a blast from the pee-wee football past.
When he ran in 2010, Jackson made a NewsOK headline by performing a background check on himself, learning that he faced a misdemeanor charge for bouncing a check in Lawton 10 years earlier and pleading guilty to the charge to clear the record.
Jackson has also served as a past chairman of the Oklahoma County Republican Party and was at the center of some vague and dramatic county-level criticism regarding delegates to the 2012 GOP national convention.
He received the City Sentinel’s endorsement in the runoff.
If Jackson wins, it means the November general for House District 85 would pit a boy scout against a girl scout.
After receiving 35 percent of the primary vote, GOP campaign operative Robyn Matthews will face Jackson in the runoff. In announcing her District 85 campaign, Matthews emphasized how her grandmother and mother were both active Republicans in the state.
Matthews holds a journalism degree from OSU and has worked in communications as well as on political campaigns. On her about page, Matthews offers what appears to be support for school vouchers that allow parents to use tax dollars for private-school tuition. Matthews herself graduated high school from Casady, according to a “Visual CV” that lists former politicians Vince Orza and Janet Barresi as references.
On her website, Matthews refers to herself repeatedly as representing “a new generation of conservative leadership,” although her “news” page features just one post.
On the Visual CV that jumps around between past tense and present tense, Matthews notes public-relations experience, campaign experience and a three-month stint as the assistant manager of a Gap Outlet store.