The midterms saw a blue majority in the House and a single Democratic representative from Oklahoma.
Rarely has there been as much participation in a U.S. election as there was in these midterms. According to NPR, voter turnout hit a 50-year high.
For Oklahoma, most of the state stayed red. In the House of Representatives, Republicans Kevin Hern, Markwayne Mullin, Frank Lucas and Tom Cole won Districts One through Four. Mullin, Lucas and Cole are all incumbents. Kevin Hern champions conservative values, wants to uphold the Second Amendment and believes that health care needs to be made more accessible without intervention from the federal government with laws like the Affordable Care Act.
As for Mullin, this will be his third term in the House for Oklahoma. He is known for his ownership of the Mullin Plumbing company and is one of only two Native Americans in the House. Mullin has prioritized support for businesses in Oklahoma and serves on federal committees related to energy resources.
Frank Lucas previously served on the House Committee on Agriculture, which is fitting as he represents District Three, one of the largest agricultural regions in the U.S. Tom Cole is a member of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame; Time Magazine referred to him as “one of the sharpest minds in the House.”
Kendra Horn was the only Democrat in the state to secure a seat, winning District Five, which includes the Oklahoma City area. Horn narrowly defeated incumbent representative Steve Russell by winning 51 percent of the vote. Before entering politics, Horn was an attorney and ran nonprofits, but has always been passionate about women running for office.
NewsOK reported that her election came as a surprise both to Oklahomans and for Democratic groups outside of of the state. The Oklahoma City area district has not voted Democrat since the 1970s. Horn focused on education and healthcare throughout her campaign, leading with the idea of “common sense leadership for Oklahoma.” Horn is only the third woman elected to represent Oklahoma in Congress.
Republican Kevin Stitt prevailed over Democrat Drew Edmondson to become Oklahoma’s 28th governor by around 12 percent. Stitt is a self-funded businessman who founded the nationwide mortgage company Gateway. He sold books to pay for college at Oklahoma State University.
He aims to audit every state agency and make teachers’ salaries close to those of neighboring states, despite opposing the teacher pay raise propositions earlier this year. In August, President Trump endorsed Stitt due to his support of veterans, the Second Amendment and a secure southern border.
Multiple Oklahoma educators ran and were elected for office. This comes after the massive teacher walkout in April of this year over budget and salary issues. The Oklahoma Education Association stated that, “there are now more educators in the state legislature than ever before.” Some are former teachers, counselors or principals. In total, 1,800 educators ran for House or Senate seats this year.
The Democratic Party took hold of the majority in the House of Representatives at 51 percent, while the Senate remained under the control of the Republicans. There are now 23 Democratic, 26 Republican, and one Independent state governor. With two more years until the next election, Americans will wait to see if these trends continue in 2020.