Oklahoma County has a new sheriff, sort of. Acting Sheriff, P.D. Taylor, who worked under his predecessor for more than a dozen years, received 49.9 percent of 46,209 votes to win a three-way race Tuesday.
Meanwhile, in Norman and Noble, Democrat Jacob Rosecrants defeated Republican Darin Chambers with 60.4 percent of 5,257 votes for House District 46. Rosecrants had run for the seat in 2016 when former GOP Rep. Scott Martin received 60 percent of the vote.
Rosecrants’ victory will give the House Democratic caucus 28 members when an anticipated special session begins near the end of the month. The Norman educator, who will eventually have to resign that position, received strong support from public education advocates.
In the night’s most interesting non-candidate elections, Oklahoma City voters passed 15 ballot measures surrounding municipal investment. The slew of proposals featured 13 bonds and two sales tax levies that will provide money for the police department, the fire department, road and bridge repairs, transit, traffic signals, libraries, parks, the Civic Center, the Chesapeake Energy Arena, business incentives, drainage and the city’s central maintenance facility.
The Chesapeake Energy Arena, which has received multiple influxes of public money over the past decade, saw the narrowest margin of victory: 51.8 percent in favor.
In west Tulsa, Republican voters chose former Jenks City Councilman Brian O’Hara to advance in the Senate District 37 special election. O’Hara and Democrat Allison Ikley-Freeman will compete to replace Sen. Dan Newberry (R-Tulsa) who submitted a letter of resignation effective Jan. 31, 2018.
That seat will be decided in a Nov. 14 special election.
‘A huge win for public education’
Rosecrants’ victory in Norman continues the narrative that Oklahomans want the state’s budget issues — and particularly education woes — to be fixed, regardless of party affiliation.
Rep. Emily Virgin (D-Norman) posted on Facebook about her new caucus-mate’s victory.
“Words cannot express how proud I am of Representative-Elect Jacob Rosecrants!” Virgin wrote. “He and his amazing team put in the long hours and knocked the doors that it took to win this election in a landslide. This was a huge win for public education in Oklahoma!”