Challenger Elizabeth Donnelly withdraws, Sen. Cliff Branan reelected
By Patrick B. McGuigan
Elizabeth Donnelly, the Democratic hopeful who had been running in state Senate District 40 in north Oklahoma City, withdrew from the race today. As a result, state Sen. Cliff Branan, the Republican incumbent, will be reelected without opposition.
Republicans are now assured of at least 25 votes in the Senate after the November election. The party, which only took control of the upper chamber for the first time in state history in 2008, already were assured of at least a tie when a wave of Democrats withdrew earlier this summer.
In an interview today, Sen. Branan told CapitolBeatOK, “I’m still very surprised that this happened. I was criss-crossing the district and we occasionally wound up in the same precincts, even on the same blocks.”
He continued, “She called me yesterday, in late afternoon, about 4:25 p.m. I was knocking doors. She told me she intended to withdraw her candidacy. I was surprised, and we talked. I wished her all the best. She asked if we could get together and I said I would certainly like to compare notes.”
Branan continued, “She was gracious and kind. She told me she would file the paperwork on Tuesday to leave the race. I got a copy confirming she had done that at 2 p.m. today (July 27).”
Branan said, “I am so humbled and grateful that I can come back and represent the hard-working and entrepreneurial spirit of the people in this district. I intend to go back to the Capitol and work hard to build an environment for individuals and businesses to succeed. I intend to stay in very close contact with my constituents.”
Donnelly’s communication to election officials asked the secretary of the county election board “by your authority to strike my name from the list of candidates who have filed” in the district. She directed the secretary “NOT to place my name on the official ballot.”