The last rural Democrat in the Oklahoma House of Representatives lost his reelection race on Tuesday night.
Rep. Matt Meredith (D–Tahlequah), who has served House District 4 since 2016, was considered to be one of the state’s most vulnerable incumbents heading into election night. His seat had been a key target of Oklahoma Republicans, who believed his challenger’s local renown would win them an extra chair in the Oklahoma House.
In the end, it was just one of many wins the night had to offer for the state’s Republican Party.
Entering the general election already having gained one seat, after no Democrat ran to fill the vacant spot of Rep. Ben Loring (D–Miami) in HD 7, Republicans were able to add four other new representatives to their roster while defending their seats in more moderate districts.
“Oklahomans want growth, freedom and conservative government, and their election of the biggest Republican majority in state House history will deliver it,” House Speaker Charles McCall (R-Atoka) said in a statement. “It was encouraging to make gains statewide, from picking up all rural seats for the first time in state history to adding representation in the Oklahoma City area. In 15 years as a majority, House Republicans have focused on building a better business climate, cleaning up state finances, and investing in our future through education, infrastructure and more. We are honored to be asked to continue this successful work by leading with civility, respect and results for the people of Oklahoma.”
However, despite the GOP wins, several of Oklahoma’s Democratic incumbents were able to narrowly hold onto their State Representative titles in urban areas.
The polls closed Tuesday at 7 p.m., and unofficial state election results can be found here. The following is a breakdown of how relevant Oklahoma House races played out, starting with the four seats that Republicans won Tuesday evening.
HD 4: Bob Ed Culver follows in father’s footsteps
Republican Bob Ed Culver will serve as District 4’s representative after beating out Rep. Matt Meredith with 55.15 percent of the vote. This was Culver’s second race against the Democratic incumbent, and his father served HD 4 as a Democrat in the 1990s.
HD 56: Republican Dick Lowe defeats Amber mayor for vacant seat
Republican Dick Lowe won House District 56 after defeating Democrat Craig Parham, the mayor of Amber). The seat, which was left vacant after Rep. David Perryman (D–Chickasha) decided not to run for reelection, was considered a target for Oklahoma Republicans.
Lowe has lived near Amber for many years and said he feels prepared to handle the challenges that come with representing a rural district.
HD 83: Republican Eric Roberts beats Democratic Rep. Chelsey Branham in NWOKC
Rep. Chelsey Branham (D–OKC) was narrowly defeated by her Republican opponent Eric Roberts, a somewhat unexpected win for the Oklahoma GOP. Roberts, a commercial and residential developer, believes he has the professional experience to bring more businesses to Oklahoma.
HD 95: Democratic Rep. Kelly Albright falls to Republican Max Wolfley
An educator, Democratic Rep. Kelly Albright (D–Midwest City) lost her seat to Republican challenger Max Wolfley in a close race. Wolfley, a former high school teacher and coach, beat Albright with 51.3 percent of the vote.
HD 3: Former Rep. Rick West will return
Former District 3 representative Rick West will be returning to the office after winning just over 69 percent of the vote on election night. West was first elected as a state representative in 2016, but did not seek reelection to attend to family matters the following election cycle.
His Democratic competitor, Mike Sullivan, is also a former representative for the district.
HD 11: Wendi Stearman defeats Democrat Emilie Tindle
Republican Wendi Stearman, who beat out HD 11 incumbent Rep. Darrel Fincher (R–Bartlesville) in the June primary, will serve as the district’s representative after defeating Democrat Emilie Tindle with 67.75 percent of the vote.
HD 24: Incumbent Logan Philips holds his seat in Steve Kouplen rematch
The Republican incumbent won with a little more than 66 percent of the vote.
HD 28: Danny Williams will return to House in different party
Danny Williams, who previously represented House District 28 as a Democrat from 1988 to 1994, won back his old seat, but this time as a Republican. He beat Democratic challenger Yasminda Choate with 73.13 percent of the vote. The seat was open after Zack Taylor won election to the State Senate.
HD 34: Rep. Trish Ranson overcomes Republican challenger’s Election Day lead
Incumbent Trish Ranson (D–Stillwater) won her re-election race despite opponent Aaron Means’s lead in Election Day voting. Ranson, a former music teacher, has represented District 34 since 2018 and won with 52.5 percent.
HD 45: Rep. Merleyn Bell defends seat in close race
Rep. Merleyn Bell (D–Norman) narrowly won her re-election race against Republican Phillip Hillian with 51.6 percent of the vote. Bell, a lifelong Norman resident and former campaign consultant, has represented House District 45 since 2018.
HD 46: Democrat Jacob Rosecrants narrowly holds Norman seat
Rep. Jacob Rosecrants (D–Norman) won an extremely close reelection race against Republican challenger Nancy Sangirardi, winning by just 79 votes. Rosecrants, a former teacher, has represented District 46 since 2016.
HD 62: Lawton incumbent Daniel Pae wins projected close race with Democratic challenger Larry Bush
Republican Rep. Daniel Pae (R – Lawton) was able to hold on to his State House spot after beating Democratic opponent Larry Bush with about 55 percent of the vote. Pae is a lifelong Lawton resident who says he believes in preserving the American Dream by protecting business and family interests.
This race was expected to be close, and some state Democrats thought it would be an opportunity to win back some lost seats.
HD 64: Rep. Rande Worthen wins against Democrat Kyle Emmet Meraz
Incumbent Rande Worthen (R–Lawton) narrowly beat Democratic challenger and registered nurse Kyle Emmet Meraz to keep his HD 64 seat. Worthen’s spot in the State House was considered a target for Oklahoma Democrats heading in to election night as the district voted to pass State Question 802 this summer.
A former prosecutor, Worthen has been the district’s representative since 2016.
HD 79: Democrat Melissa Provenzano wins re-election
Rep. Melissa Provenzano (D-Tulsa) will remain House District 79’s representative after beating Republican Margie Alfonso with almost 52 percent of the vote.
Provenzano, a former educator, was first elected to represent the Tulsa district in 2018.
HD 88: Mauree Turner elected first Muslim, first non-binary Oklahoma legislator
Democrat Mauree Turner became not only Oklahoma’s first Muslim legislator, but the United States’ first non-binary legislator on Tuesday night.
Turner won House District 88 with more than 71 percent of the vote.
HD 89: Jose Cruz elected first Latino representative for majority Hispanic district
Democrat Jose Cruz won south Oklahoma City’s vacant HD 89 seat, making him the first Latino to represent the majority Hispanic district.
“Tonight’s victory is a victory for our community. A community that has gone without a voice at the Capitol for far too long,” Cruz said in a press release.
HD 93: Former Republican representative Mike Christian loses to Democratic incumbent Mickey Dollens
Democratic incumbent Rep. Mickey Dollens (D–OKC) will remain in office after beating House District 93’s former Republican Rep. Mike Christian.
Dollens — a former college football player, bobsledder, oil field worker and teacher — has represented the south Oklahoma City district since 2016.
(Update: This story was updated at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4, to include additional information.)