Thursday, November 8, 2012

Okla. Republican Party continues dominance, captures state's entire congressional delegation

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I’m an Okie so this info is important to me. I am cross posting it in case fellow Okie voters come by and read the blog.

JRH 11/8/12
Okla. Republican Party continues dominance, captures state's entire congressional delegation

November 07, 2012 - 4:02 am EST

Associated Press — Republicans continued their domination of Oklahoma politics, capturing all five U.S. House seats, extending their majorities in the state House and Senate and handing GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney one of his largest vote margins in the country.

Romney captured 67 percent of the vote over President Barack Obama in Oklahoma on Tuesday and won all of the state's 77 counties, according to unofficial results. Republicans maintained control of all four GOP-held U.S. House seats, and Republican plumbing company owner Markwayne Mullin captured the sprawling 2nd District in eastern Oklahoma, the last Democrat-held seat in the state. The GOP now controls Oklahoma's entire congressional delegation, every statewide elected office and both chambers of the Oklahoma Legislature for the first time in state history.

Navy pilot Jim Bridenstine won the 1st Congressional District seat in Tulsa, and incumbent Republican U.S. Reps. Tom Cole, James Lankford and Frank Lucas all coasted to easy victories. [SlantRight Editor: Bold Emphasis Mine – I live in OK-1)

"Republicans have had such great success in Oklahoma because they've been able to prove that conservative fiscal policies do work, and we have the numbers to back that up in the state," said Republican Gov. Mary Fallin, citing the state's low unemployment rate and high number of newly created jobs. "We have proved that conservative principles do work in governing a state."

Fallin said the success of Republicans in Oklahoma means state leaders will continue to push for the types of reforms they've championed over the last two years: a smaller, more efficient state government, lower taxes, protecting the rights of the unborn and gun owners, and a pro-business regulatory climate.

"I think we're seeing Oklahomans support those solid types of values," she said.

The governor will have even more GOP allies in the Republican-controlled Legislature. Republicans picked up two more seats in the state Senate on Tuesday to extend their majority in that chamber to 36-12. Among the GOP pickups was a victory in the state Senate seat in southeast Oklahoma's "Little Dixie" once held by longtime Democratic state Sen. Gene Stipe for nearly a half-century.

"That puts the dagger through the heart of the Democratic Party, I think," said Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman. "That's a big statement win."

Republicans also extended their advantage in the Oklahoma House.

Although the strength of the Republican Party in the Sooner State has been growing for more 20 years, the strides made in the last decade have been remarkable. Democrats essentially controlled the Oklahoma Legislature since statehood in 1907, but Republicans snatched control of the House in 2004 and then the Senate in 2008. Two years later, fueled by momentum from the tea party, the Republican Party captured every statewide elected office from Democrats, including the governor's mansion.

"Part of it is a trend that has been playing out for several decades, and that is Oklahoma following the trend of southern states," said Sheryl Lovelady, a longtime Democratic political strategist in Oklahoma. "Oklahoma is a populist state, which lent itself to Democratic control for many years. Populism now tends to lend itself to Republicans, who have been very good in their messaging."

Also on Tuesday, Oklahoma voters approved all six ballot measures, including a proposal to wipe out affirmative action programs in state government that the plan's supporters say are no longer needed.

Other questions approved by voters were proposals to remove the governor from the parole process, limit annual property valuation increases from 5 percent to 3 percent, exempt intangible personal property from property tax and change the way the Oklahoma Department of Human Services is governed. Voters also approved a question that allows the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to issue bonds.
Sean Murphy can be reached at

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