Special elections cheat sheet

Tuesday will feature a trio of special elections intended to fill vacancies in the Oklahoma Legislature. Accordingly, NonDoc has created the following special elections cheat sheet to guide your last-minute voting decisions.

Republican seats up for grabs

Senate District 45 consists of parts of Oklahoma, Cleveland and Canadian counties. This special election follows the vacancy left behind by Kyle Loveless, who resigned in April following an investigation that would compel him to plead guilty in August to three felonies.

Up the turnpike, Jenks, Sand Springs and West Tulsa’s Senate District 37 seeks a replacement for Sen. Dan Newberry (R-Tulsa), who announced his pending resignation in June to pursue a professional promotion. Newberry’s resignation will take effect Jan. 31, 2018, and he is still serving in the Legislature for the ongoing special session.

In that same neck of the woods, the Broken Arrow-centric House District 76 also demands a successor to David Brumbaugh, who died in April. His widow, Shelley, ran as a Republican in the primary but lost by the thinnest of margins: 0.91 percent (19 votes).

On the heels of last week’s nationwide election night that saw Democrat voters create a tsunami of blue support, the stakes are high for each of the following state-level positions formerly held by Republicans, who continue to dominate membership in the Oklahoma Legislature.

SD 45: Paul Rosino (R)


Profession: Realtor
Experience: The bulk of Rosino’s bureaucratic credentials come in the form of military experience in the U.S. Navy.
Platform: As the Republican candidate, Rosino lists a few tell-tale signs of his conservative ideologies on a webpage aptly titled Platform, e.g. “Lower taxes and regulation to spur job growth” and “Limited Government, Free People”.
Links: Website | Facebook

SD 45: Steven Vincent (D)


Profession: Dispatcher for the Oklahoma City Police Department
Experience: Similar to Rosino, Vincent has a military background, having served in the Oklahoma Army National Guard.
Platform: Using the motto “Replace. Restore. Rebuild.”, the Democratic candidate seeks to end what he characterizes as Oklahoma’s current “crisis, corruption, and failure”.
Links: WebsiteFacebook | Twitter

SD 37: Brian O’Hara (R)


Profession: Congressional aide
Experience: The conservative candidate serves as deputy district director for U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Oklahoma) and formerly served as a Jenks city councilor.
Platform: Education features prominently on the candidate’s website, and endorsements have been forthcoming from gun groups as well as Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police and National Right to Life.
Links: Website | Facebook

SD 37: Allison Ikley-Freeman (D)


Profession: Mental health therapist
Experience: Volunteer experience forms the bulk of Ikley-Freeman’s civic-oriented background. She ran unopposed in the primary for this heavily Republican district (then-incumbent Newberry won by almost 5,000 votes in 2016).
Platform: Increasing funding for education, health care and social services features highly among the Democratic candidate’s issues.
Links: Website | Facebook

HD 76: Ross Ford (R)


Profession: Retired (former motorcycle officer with the Tulsa Police Department)
Experience: The Rotarian, Civitan, volunteer and community activist has a history with local schools as security director.
Platform: Using the slogan “Service Above Self” on his website, specific issues of importance appear to be education, jobs and smaller government, according to this flyer.
Links: Website | Facebook

HD 76: Chris VanLandingham (D)


Profession: Retired (former AP history and AP government teacher)
Experience: The Democratic candidate defeated one opponent in the primary by 9 percentage points.
Platform: VanLandingham mixes progressive policies — such as raising the minimum wage, legalizing marijuana, increasing gun control and banning pharmaceutical commercials from TV — with a desire to also shrink government.
Links: Website | Facebook