(Update: On Tuesday, June 28, Arturo Alonso won the election to represent House District 89.)
House District 89 has not had a representative since Rep. Jose Cruz (D-OKC) resigned in Jan. 2022 after “acting inappropriately” at a New Years Eve party where the host accused him of sexual assault. Now three Democrats are running to replace him.
No Republican or third-party candidates filed to run, so the winner of the Democratic primary will become the next representative. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote in the June 28 primary, the top two finishers will go to a runoff on Aug. 23.
House District 89 includes southwest Oklahoma City, including College Hill and the Wheeler District.
The following overview of the candidates is derived from publicly available information and candidates are presented in alphabetical order. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day.
Town: Oklahoma City
Background: According to his website, Alonso was born in the United States but lived in Guanajuato, Mexico until he was four, when he and his family moved to Oklahoma City. Alonso attended Santa Fe South Public Charter Schools for middle and high school. He then attended the University of Oklahoma, where he graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering in May 2022. Alonso is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Platform: During his time at Santa Fe South, Alonso says he “saw how students capable of pursuing a college education fell short due to a lack of funding and access to resources.” Alonso says he is running to try to improve the opportunities for other students like him because he believes “there are structural inequities that have made living the American dream an impossibility for too many.” He also believes that, if he were elected, his age could inspire other youth. On his website, Alonso said, “In Oklahoma, cuts to critical programs have caused real suffering for working families.” He lists five top issues that make up his platform:
- Public education;
- Comprehensive health care;
- Criminal justice reform;
- Economic justice;
- Public safety and infrastructure.
Town: Oklahoma City
Background: According to an article published by The Oklahoman, Bryant has lived in Oklahoma since 1993. He told the newspaper he was raised as a “military brat.” Bryant has worked as a taxi driver, security guard and hospital aid. He says that he spoke some Spanish in his youth, but did not retain enough to be considered fluent (HD 89 is more than 70 percent Latino). Bryant has run in the Democratic primaries for the district twice before, the first time in 2014 and the second time in 2020. He received 16.1 and 13.1 percent, respectively, in those elections.
Platform: Bryant told The Oklahoman that corporate corruption is one of his primary concerns, saying, “I think we’ve let them do pretty much what they want in this country.” He recognizes that he struggles with a language barrier with some constituents in the district but said that he will “make an effort to find out the views of all [his] constituents” if elected, likely through an interpreter.
Links: Bryant does not appear to have a website or social media accounts for his campaign.
Town: Oklahoma City
Background: In an interview with the Green Corn Rebellion Show, Zapata said he has lived in Oklahoma City his entire life. He currently works at a credit union. Zapata previously ran in for House District 89 in 2020, when he lost the primary to Cruz. Zapata is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Platform: Zapata told the Green Corn Rebellion Show that his job at a credit union has showed him some of the financial struggles constituents face. On his website, Zapata calls for universal health care and access to free college and trade programs. Zapata also calls for a “revitalization of unions,” saying they lead to higher wages and better health and safety precautions. He also lists mass incarceration as one of the state’s biggest issues, condemning an “inherently racist” justice system. On his website, Zapata also states, “We can and must fight for at the state level to ensure a sense of safety and community for all people,” specifically listing immigrants, women and LGBTQ individuals as vulnerable communities.