CapitolBeatOK Staff Report
The results of this year’s elections have increased Republican numbers in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. In the view of the incoming Speaker of the House, the margin now enjoyed by the Grand Old Party shows growing voter support for the conservative policies championed by those candidates.
“I am encouraged by the vote of confidence House Republicans received in the elections yesterday,” said House Speaker-designate Kris Steele of Shawnee. “Now that the campaigns are over, it is time for all legislators to work together in a manner that is in the best interest of Oklahoma. We are eager to advance pro-growth, conservative policies that will move our state forward.”
As a result of Tuesday’s elections, House Republicans gained eight seats and now hold a 70-31 margin of control in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Republicans candidates won several seats left open by Democrat retirements. New members include:
• Dustin Roberts, Durant (District 21) – Roberts enlisted in the United States Navy in 2003 and over his five-year military career was the recipient of two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals for his efforts in the Horn of Africa situation and again in Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2004, Roberts was awarded as the Blue Jacket of the Year. He was promoted to 3rd Class Petty Officer and later awarded Junior Sailor of the Year. Today, Roberts is pursing a degree in education at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and is a partner in his family’s business, All Star Beverages.
• Tom Newell, Seminole (District 28) – Newell teaches courses in economics, business management and personal finances at Seminole State College, helps youth through his service in FFA, and raises horses at his home near Seminole. He also serves as the senior pastor of Heartland Family Church in Seminole.
• Jadine Nollan, Sand Springs (District 66) – Nollan is the executive director of Sand Springs Community Services, an emergency relief organization, and has served 11 years on the Sand Springs Board of Education including a term as school board president.
Republican candidates also beat Democratic incumbents in five districts. Those new legislators include:
• Rusty Farley, Haworth (District 1) – Farley is a manager for wholesale plumbing, heating and cooling supplies.
• John Bennett, Sallisaw (District 2) – Bennett, who owns and operates a storm shelter business, also served 14 years of active duty in Marines before returning to Oklahoma.
• Steve Vaughan, Ponca City (District 37) – Vaughan is an investment, securities and insurance advisor as well as co-owner of the Buffalo Waller Ranch hunting preserve.
• Aaron Stiles, Norman (District 45) – Stiles is an attorney who won a re-match race with the Democratic incumbent, Wallace Collins.
• Tommy Hardin, Madill (District 49) – Hardin is a retired Air Traffic Controller with 25 years of Civil Service who also served six years in the Marine Corps Reserves.
The caucus also held seats left open by incumbent Republican members who either termed out or chose not to run again. Those new members include:
• Marty Quinn, Claremore (District 9) – Quinn has been a representative of Shelter Insurance Company for the past 27 years. He served 10 years on the board of Hope Harbor Children’s Home and currently serves on the Claremore School Foundation and the Claremore Sports Foundation.
• Josh Cockroft, McLoud (District 27) – One of two 21-year-old members elected as House Republicans this year, Cockroft is part of a rising new generation of conservative leadership. Cockroft has served with the Young Republicans and worked with high school students throughout Oklahoma and the United States as a member of TeenPact Leadership Schools.
• Dennis Casey, Morrison (District 35) – Casey served as a coach, teacher and administrator at the high school level for nearly three decades and runs a small cow-calf operation near Morrison.
• Sean Roberts, Hominy (District 36) – Roberts has served as Director of Rehabilitation at a local hospital and owns a restaurant in Hominy.
• Glen Mulready, Tulsa (District 68) – a 26-year veteran of the insurance industry, Mulready has also served as a youth director at his church and a foster parent for 10 years. His work with Big Brothers Big Sisters earned him Leadership Tulsa's Paragon Award.
• David Brumbaugh, Broken Arrow (District 76) – Brumbaugh is president and owner of DRB Industries LLC. He is also a Tulsa City-County Library Commissioner and serves on the Legislative & Public Affairs and the Transportation Infrastructure & Communications Committees for the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce.
• Randy Grau, Edmond (District 81) – Grau is an attorney and deputy county commissioner for Oklahoma County.
• Elise Hall, R-Oklahoma City (District 100) – Hall is the Director of Marketing and Advertising at Western Lawns, a local landscape management company. At age 21, she is currently the youngest member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives (although only by a few months).
Steele said he is excited to being working with all the new lawmakers elected this year. “Our new members provide greater diversity and a renewed enthusiasm that will prove invaluable as we work to implement an agenda designed to help Oklahoma reach its potential,” Steele said.