Senate District 35
Six candidates are competing for Tulsa's Senate District 35 in 2020. (NonDoc)

The race for Oklahoma Senate District 35 will feature a slew of new candidates in June. The seat’s current holder, Sen. Gary Stanislawski (R-Tulsa), terms out this year after 12 years in office.

Stanislawski, the president of Regent Financial Services, Inc., serves as chairman of the Senate Education Committee. He is also the vice-chariman of the Senate Business, Commerce and Tourism Committee.

SD 35 covers much of the area just west of downtown Tulsa and along the east bank of the Arkansas River. Stanislawski first won the seat in 2008, ran unopposed in 2012 and won almost 65 percent of the votes in 2016.

Three Democratic candidates and three Republican candidates will compete for the empty seat, one of whom received Stanislawski’s endorsement in early May.

The following overview of the candidates for the seat is derived from publicly available information. Voting in the primary races will take place June 30.

Senate District 35 at a glance

Outgoing office holder: Sen. Gary Stanislawski (R)
Zip codes represented: 74008, 74104, 74105, 74107, 74112, 74114, 74115, 74119, 74120, 74127, 74135, 74136, 74137
Counties represented: Tulsa
Cities/Townships represented: Tulsa

Republican candidates

Cheryl Baber (R)

Cheryl Baber
Cheryl Baber

Profession: Former assistant U.S. attorney and law clerk.
Platform: Baber has been endorsed by Stanislawski, and her website states she is a a pro-life conservative who prioritizes the rule of law, adding that “the highest purpose of government” is to protect “law-abiding citizens.” Baber is in favor of programs to reduce Oklahoma’s incarceration rates through “fair sentencing and rehabilitation,” while remaining strict on violent offenders. Baber is a Second Amendment supporter and favors reform to the state’s education funding formula, fewer state mandates and greater “classroom freedom” for instructors and schools.

In 2019, Gov. Kevin Stitt nominated Baber to serve on the Eastern Oklahoma State College Board of Regents. Stanislawski carried the nomination, but the Senate Education Committee rejected her confirmation by a 5-8 vote. Senators expressed concern about her stated plan to run for SD 35 in 2020, and others opposed her nomination because she said she had no connection to or knowledge about the agriculture college in Wilburton. In 2018, Baber won the GOP nomination for Tulsa’s House District 71, but she lost the general election to Rep. Denise Brewer (D-Tulsa) with only 43.9 percent of the vote.
More Info: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Kyden Creekpaum (R)

Kyden Creekpaum
Kyden Creekpaum

Profession: International anti-corruption attorney
Platform: Creekapum’s website states he is a pro-life candidate, Second Amendment supporter and advocate for limited government. A University of Oklahoma alumnus with a masters in public health degree from Johns Hopkins University, Creekpaum says online that he would seek to improve public education. He says schools are overcrowded and under-maintained, and he wants to raise teacher salaries statewide. Creekpaum’s website describes him as “uniquely qualified to root out fraud and abuse in state government,” ensuring tax revenue is spent as promised. Creekpaum would also try to expand and improve Oklahoma’s roadways and access to internet infrastructure statewide if elected.
More Info: Website | Facebook

Linda Morrissey (R)

Linda Morrissey
Linda Morrissey

Profession: Retired Tulsa County District Court judge
Platform: Morrissey holds public education to be “the most important government function,” according to her campaign website, and she wishes to rework the funding formula to “retain experienced teachers” while recruiting new instructors to teach in Oklahoma. As a judge, Morrissey wrote she has worked on task forces to reduce incarceration rates for women and non-violent offenders, while remaining in favor of capital punishment and prison sentences for violent criminals. Morrissey is pro-life and supports the Second Amendment as a licensed concealed-carrier. Morrissey’s website says she advocated for limited government in her judicial tenure by denying “unnecessary requests by local government” to acquire property through eminent domain.
More Info: Website | Facebook

Democratic candidates

Jo Anna Dossett (D)

Jo Anna Dossett
Jo Anna Dossett

Profession: English language development teacher
Platform: Dossett’s website states she opposes any legislation that would defund public education, and she aims to return overall education funding to pre-recession levels. Citing a crime rate above the national average despite comparatively high incarceration rates, Dossett’s campaign site says she seeks to “end our dependence on incarceration” through implementing rehabilitative programs to reduce prison costs, improve public safety and assist recovery for non-violent offenders.

Dossett favors expanding Oklahomans’ access to “affordable and comprehensive” health care and addressing issues affecting women and children. She has a master’s degree from Oklahoma State University, and her brother is Sen. J.J. Dossett (D-Owasso).
More Info: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Carly Hotvedt (D)

Carly Hotvedt
Carly Hotvedt

Profession: Former attorney, Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s director of agriculture and natural resources
Platform: Hotvedt’s websites states she is in favor of “real, long-term investments” to Oklahoma public education funding in conjunction with teacher pay raises, which she believes are insufficient to improve the state’s education system alone. Hotvedt seeks reform to school district financing and expanded spending per-classroom to give instructors and students resources she believes are necessary for success.

Hotvedt’s site says she favors SQ 802 to address Oklahoma’s health care struggles, stating that Medicaid expansion is the most “simple and well-known” solution. Hotvedt writes that she is an advocate for full funding of the eight-year plan to improve Oklahoma’s infrastructure, and she supports partnership with federal and municipal bodies to monitor and maintain levees and dams.
More Info: Website | Facebook

Stan Young (D)

Stan Young
Stan Young

Profession: Retired U.S. Navy nurse, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
Platform: An advocate for SQ 802 and full Medicaid expansion according to his campaign website, Young also supports furthering medical marijuana research and making it accessible to “appropriate patient populations.” Young states that he supports returning public education funding to its pre-recession level and opposes state subsidization of private schools, though he acknowledges them as acceptable alternatives to public education.

Young is also a proponent of decriminalizing “low-level narcotic offenses,” reducing private prison use and ending the death penalty in Oklahoma, according to his website. Young wrote that he wants to move Oklahoma away from fossil fuel reliance and that he supports “all available avenues” for the state to transition to renewable energy sources, including “tax credits for solar and wind alternatives.”
More Info: Website | Facebook