Dusty Deevers elected
Republican Dusty Deevers defeated Democrat Larry Bush in a special election for the vacant Oklahoma State Senate District 32 seat in the Lawton area Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023. (NonDoc)

The political makeup of the Oklahoma State Senate will remain the same as Republican Dusty Deevers defeated Democrat Larry Bush in Tuesday’s special election for Senate District 32 in the Lawton area.

Unofficial election results showed Deevers receiving 3,104 votes, or 55.5 percent, and Bush netting 2,491 votes, or 44.6 percent.

The open Senate District 32 seat was vacated this summer when John Michael Montgomery took a job running the Lawton-Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce.

Deevers, a conservative pastor who drew criticism for his remarks about opposing no-fault divorce, will serve the rest of Montgomery’s unexpired term, which runs through November 2026.

Deevers is scheduled to be sworn into the State Senate at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 20. After he takes office, the Senate makeup will return to 40 Republicans and eight Democrats. Deevers’ election as a Republican also affects the math for the ongoing internal race for leader of the GOP-controlled State Senate.

During his campaign, Deevers said he supported the Second Amendment and would seek an economy that works for everyone in southwest Oklahoma. He also said schools need to be stopped from promoting “leftist” indoctrination.

Deevers was excited about winning the SD 32 seat, which covers the north and west sides of Lawton, as well as the communities of Cache, Elgin and Fletcher.

“First and foremost, to God be the glory!” he said in a statement. “I am amazed and incredibly grateful for the support of the voters, my family, our church, and the confidence of citizens across Senate District 32. We knew that entering this race would be an uphill battle. Despite being outspent by special interests more than 10 to 1, our volunteer-driven campaign was able to effectively communicate a positive message of family, liberty, courage and common sense.”

Deevers said voters sent a clear message: End politics as usual.

“Voters are standing up and demanding that we honor our constitution, root out corruption in government, provide equal protection for all and support our local businesses,” he said. “I am honored for the opportunity to be a bold and courageous voice for Senate District 32. I will work tirelessly to defend and secure the liberties of every citizen. I will boldly fight for equal protection and treatment under the law for every one of our neighbors. I will work to promote and develop our local economy.”

Deevers said it was a privilege to meet and listen to many residents during his campaign. He encouraged constituents to contact him.

“I will have an open door and listening ear to understand the needs of our community,” he said. “Together, we will defend the principles and values we hold so dear here in southwest Oklahoma.”

Bush, an insurance agent, had lost two previous bids for the Oklahoma Legislature. His name may be most recognizable as a former University of Oklahoma defensive back. Bush finished his college football career in 1995.

“Thank you to the voters and to my amazing volunteer team,” Bush said in a statement. “Every election matters and helps us have important conversations. My service to our community does not stop here.”

Prior to Montgomery’s election, the seat was held by former Democrat Sen. Randy Bass from 2006 through 2018.