GOP primary for Senate District 37 is September 12th

Registered Republicans in Senate District 37 will vote September 12 in a winner-take-all primary with a field of seven GOP candidates.

The top vote getter will face the lone Democrat who filed, Allison Ikley-Freeman.

That seat is open because State Sen. Dan Newberry, R-Tulsa, is resigning January 31 to pursue business interests. The winner of the November 14 special election will be seated in time to participate in the 2018 legislative session.

The Republican candidates are:

  • Brian O’Hara of Jenks
  • Grady Grant of Jenks
  • Brian M. Jackson of Sand Springs
  • Rick Hardesty of Tulsa
  • Nicole Nixon of Tulsa
  • R. Jay McAtee of Sand Springs
  • Phil Nollan of Sand Springs

Brian O’Hara has been deputy district director for the Tulsa office of U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Oklahoma, and Bridenstine has endorsed O’Hara in this primary. He formerly served on the Jenks City Council.

O’Hara’s background is in business. He has a bachelor’s degree from Belhaven College in Mississippi.

O’Hara says he has three criteria for proposed legislation: 1. Is it right per my Judeo-Christian values? 2. Do we need it? 3. Can we afford it?

O’Hara said he believes that federal powers are limited in the U.S. Constitution under the 10th Amendment and that is a foundation of his approach to government.

O’Hara has been endorsed by the Tulsa Area Republican Assembly and by the Tulsa Beacon.

Nixon is the oldest daughter of an Air Force captain. Her family moved to a farm home north of Collinsville in 1994. She graduated from Collinsville High School. After working in private business, she is now a stay-at-home mother and president of her neighborhood association in West Tulsa.

She helped form a coalition to fight the closing of three schools by Tulsa Public Schools in West Tulsa. She said that led to a commitment to fighting to improve education.

“That is why I am now running for at full speed for Oklahoma Senate District 37 to put us back into the center of the conversation to bring more transparency, accountability and creative thinking to state government and its budget issue,” Nixon wrote on her website.

Nixon is pro-life and supports the Second Amendment gun rights. She is in favor of school choice and legal immigration. Nixon wants a “smaller, more efficient government.”

Jay McAtee was born and raised in Laverne, Oklahoma. He has a political science undergraduate degree from Oklahoma State University and a law degree from Tulsa University.

McAtee is the Clerk of Session at First Presbyterian Church of Sand Springs. He is an assistant municipal judge for Sand Springs.

McAtee has been a part of Gideons, the Oklahoma Municipal League, Oklahoma Self Insurers Association, the Oklahoma Association of Defense Counsel, the Defense Research Institute and a volunteer for Special Olympics.

According to his website, McAtee wants to increase teacher pay, spend more on highways and bridges and adopt criminal justice reform.

Phil Nollan was elected to the Ward 1 City Council seat in Sand Springs in 2016. He beat incumbent Michael Phillips.

Nollan is the husband of State Rep. Jadine Nollan, R-Sand Springs (District 66). Jadine is the chair of the Higher Education and Career Tech Committee of the Oklahoma House. In the recent Conservative Index from the Oklahoma Constitution newspaper, Rep. Nollan got a 13 score out of 100. Her cumulative score while in office is 52.

Phil Nollan was on the Parks Advisory before running for city council. He also served on the Tulsa Chapter of the Project Management Institute, the Public Works Advisory Committee, and the Sand Springs Economic Development Authority.

He is an IT director/program manager for Williams Cos. Nollan has an undergraduate degree from Oklahoma State University and executive MBA certification from The University of Tulsa.

Brian Jackson is member of the Sand Springs City Council and a development manager for Junior Achievement of Oklahoma. He has served on the Sand Springs City Council for the past seven years. Jackson ran against Newberry in the Republican primary in 2016. He previously unsuccessfully ran twice for the Oklahoma House.

He graduated from Charles Page High School in Sand Springs and holds a bachelor’s in business management from Oklahoma State University-Tulsa.

Jackson is on the Sand Springs Salvation Army Advisory Council and is a member of the Sand Springs Rotary Club and Masonic Lodge. He is a member of the Tulsa Young Professionals and the transportation committee of the INCOG.

Rick Hardesty is a business owner and works for Keller Williams Realty. He graduated from Webster High School in West Tulsa.

Grant has a locksmith company in Tulsa.