Preston Stinson will be the next representative for Oklahoma’s House District 96 after winning the Republican runoff with 60 percent of the vote.
Stinson defeated Margaret Best, who was running as a hard-line abortion opponent. No other parties had candidates for the seat.
The HD 96 seat is being vacated by Rep. Lewis Moore (R-Arcadia), who has reached his term limit after representing the district since 2008.
Stinson and Best had a close finish in the June 30 primary, winning 35 percent and 31 percent of the votes, respectively. Candidate Nicol Ragland was initially slated to represent the Democrats in the Nov. 3 general election, but she withdrew her candidacy on July 23.
Stinson, who has a background in business, ran a campaign that included calls for the diversification of Oklahoma’s economy and the development of rural areas.
“We’ve had over 100 years now of reliance on the oil and gas industry to carry a lot of water for us on on balancing the state budget, and every 15 or 20 years there’s an oil price collapse and it leads to budget shortfalls, and we all kind of panic (…) We need to learn our lesson and not put all our eggs in one basket again,” Stinson told NonDoc earlier this month. “One of the things I really want to do is try to figure out what we can do to diversify the economy away from being so heavily dependent on oil and gas and quit asking that industry to bear the burden of balancing our budget every year.”
Stinson, who is the husband of Oklahoma County District Judge Sheila Stinson, has never held elected office before. He grew up in Edmond and now operates a construction company and several other small businesses, according to his campaign website.
His website also touts him as a supporter of President Trump and says “he believes that government should never ask more from taxpayers when families are cutting back and living on less. Government should also learn to live with less in tough times.”
HD 96 lies within Oklahoma County and the municipalities it represents include Arcadia, Choctaw, Edmond, Harrah, Jones, Luther and Oklahoma City.