O’Hara wins SD37 vote; GOP loses a House seat

Former Jenks City Councilor Brian O’Hara won the GOP primary September 12 for the special election for Senate District 37 and will face Democrat Allison Ikley-Freeman in the special election on November 14.

That election is needed due to the retirement of Sen. Dan Newberry, R-Tulsa, who is leaving to pursue a business opportunity. O’Hara got 42 percent of the vote in the winner-take-all primary. Ikley-Freeman was unopposed.

The final votes were:

843 42 percent Brian O’Hara
647 32 percent Phil Nollan
224 11 percent R. Jay McAtee
133 7 percent Nicole Nixon
105 5 percent Rick Hardesty
47 2 percent Brian M. Jackson
12 .5 percent Grady Grant

In a special election in Oklahoma House District 46 in Cleveland County, the Republicans lost another special election as Democrat Jacob Rosecrants beat Darin Chambers 3,176 to 2,081 (60-40 percent). That seat was held by Republican Scott Martin who resigned to take a private sector jobs.

In the last five special elections in Oklahoma, Democrats have won four.

There could be more special elections on the way.

State Sen. Bryce Marlatt, R-Woodward, resigned last week after being charged with sexual battery following a complaint by an Uber driver.

Also on September 12, the liberalization of Oklahoma liquor laws continued as voters in Jefferson County (Waurika) approved “liquor by the drink.” The proposition passed 609 to 109 (85-15 percent).

Last November, state voters liberalized the liquor laws so that groceries, convenience stores, pharmacies and other retailers could sell refrigerated hard beer and wine. That change takes effect in 2018. Beer companies said they will stop making beer with 3.2-percent alcohol content and that has prompted counties that prohibit liquor by the drink to liberalize those restrictions to encourage the consumption of more alcohol.