Erick Harris
Erick Harris answers a question during a House District 39 special election debate hosted by NonDoc and streamed by News 9 on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024. (Michael Duncan)

House District 39 residents elected Republican Erick Harris to be their next state representative, and Edmond-area voters chose to issue $147 million in bonds for district-wide improvements to Edmond Public Schools.

With all precincts reported, Harris earned 2,507 votes (50.37 percent) while Democrat Regan Raff and Libertarian Richard Prawdzienski received 2,246 (45.13 percent) and 224 votes (4.5 percent), respectively.

With the special general election falling on Feb. 13, the Oklahoma Legislature is in its second week of regular session. Harris will participate in the 2024 session and is expected to be sworn in quickly after results are certified by the State Election Board.

“I’m humbled to win this election and for the opportunity to serve the great citizens of Edmond in the state House,” Harris said Tuesday night in a statement. “Our state and nation face serious issues and I will work tirelessly every day to find solutions. I’m extremely grateful to my wife and supporters who worked hard to help me win this election. I also want to congratulate all of my opponents who ran spirited and passionate campaigns.”

Harris is the vice president for legal services at United Petroleum Transports. He served as an assistant attorney general from 2014 to 2016. Harris’s campaign website describes him as pro-life and a member of the National Rifle Association. It also states that he “will stand strongly against Joe Biden’s failed policies” and “rejects attempts to redefine gender.”

During a House District 39 debate hosted by NonDoc and News 9 on Jan. 31, Harris said he supported a 0.25 percent income tax rate reduction, encouraged State Superintendent Ryan Walters to use more “honey than vinegar” and explained the need for policy changes allowing married women facing domestic abuse to advance their court filings more quickly.

All results posted by the Oklahoma State Election Board online are unofficial until they are certified by the board.

Follow NonDoc’s Edmond coverage

Archives | Twitter | Edmond Email

EPS bond proposals pass in landslide votes

EPS State of the Schools bond election
Edmond Public School Superintendent Angela Grunewald speaks during the State of the Schools luncheon Monday, Oct. 30, 2023. (Joe Tomlinson)

EPS voters easily surpassed the 60 percent supermajority requirement for a pair of school bond proposals. Just shy of 80 percent of voters favored the two proposals, which each featured about 10,030 ballots cast.

The biggest items in the bond resolutions include $30 million for construction of a new middle school and $26 million for construction of a new elementary school — both on the southeast corner of Air Depot Boulevard and Covell Road.

Planning for growth in east Edmond, EPS paid $3 million to acquire 80 acres on that property in May 2013. More recently, the district paid $2.8 million for 80 acres at the northwest corner of Westminster Road and Covell Road in May 2022 for the construction of a fourth high school.

“We are grateful for the continued support of the Edmond community,” said EPS Superintendent Angela Grunewald in a statement Tuesday. “Tonight marks 62 consecutive bond issues that have passed in Edmond which highlights how much our community values public education. Our current and future students and staff members will greatly benefit from the results of today’s election.”

District leaders are planning for the elementary school to open in August 2026 and for the middle school to open in August 2027, said Jeff Bardach, EPS public information officer. However, the middle school will only include a sixth-grade wing and common areas after the first phase of construction. The district plans for the seventh- and eighth-grade additions, as well as athletic fields, to be funded by future bond elections.

Aside from the new middle and elementary school, 23 other items are listed on the bond resolution’s two proposals:

  • $18 million to improve Edmond Santa Fe High School to include but not be limited to the construction of a new freshman academy;
  • $14.25 million for technology, including but not limited to purchasing and installing computers, digital devices, computer software, technology related equipment, wireless networking equipment, phone systems, copiers, technology related support services, and transportation related technology equipment and software for student management purposes;
  • $11.7 million for school equipment, including but not limited to the purchasing of fine arts equipment and the purchasing of athletic equipment, as needed and as funds will allow at district high schools and middle schools, the purchase of child nutrition kitchen equipment, maintenance and school support vehicles and equipment as well as the purchase of library/media center books, software subscriptions, instructional equipment, instructional and supplemental materials as needed and as funds will allow district-wide;
  • $8.67 million to improve HVAC units and related equipment;
  • $7.5 million to improve the baseball and softball fields at Edmond Memorial High School, Edmond North High School and Edmond Santa Fe High School;
  • $5 million to improve Scissortail Elementary School, including but not limited to construction of additional classrooms and certain building improvements;
  • $5 million for construction of additional classrooms at Scissortail Elementary School;
  • $3.5 million to construct, furnish or acquire and improve a facility to serve as a transition academy for special education;
  • $3.5 million to construct additional classrooms at Boulevard Academy, the district’s alternative education program;
  • $3 million to purchase new busses and other transportation equipment;
  • $2.5 million for improvements to Clergen Elementary School’s media center and security enhancements at the main entrance;
  • $2 million to improve the office area and certain restrooms at Orvis Risner Elementary School;
  • $1.5 million for renovations and improvements to classrooms at Charles Haskell Elementary School;
  • $1.4 million to provide for classroom furnishings district-wide as needed and as funds allow;
  • $1.4 million to construct and furnish a multi-use saferoom at the Edmond Early Childhood Center;
  • $1.4 million to renovate, replace, repair, and/or acquire roofing improvements district-wide;
  • $1.2 million for improvements to the existing media center at John Ross Elementary School;
  • $1.2 million to improve some existing classrooms at Sunset Elementary School;
  • $1 million to improve and upgrade security district-wide as needed and as funds allow throughout the school district to include but not be limited to the installation and upgrades of video surveillance camera systems, electronic security and door control devices, fencing, badging and card reader systems;
  • $750,000 to improve and upgrade flooring district-wide;
  • $750,000 to improve and upgrade existing fluorescent lights to LED lights district-wide as needed and as funds allow;
  • $400,000 to renovate, construct, replace, repair, and/or acquire playgrounds and playground equipment district-wide as needed and as funds allow
  • $350,000 to improve the competition pool area used at the existing Mitch Park YMCA Aquatic Center to include but not be limited to HVAC, timing systems, and equipment.