A Tuesday special election in Oklahoma is a big win for local Democrats. The fourth seat Democrats have gained in special elections in the state this year will be filled by Democrat Allison Ikley-Freeman, a 26-year old lesbian.
Defeating Republican Brian O’Hara in Oklahoma’s Senate District 37, Ikley-Freeman won by 31 votes, receiving 50.5 percent of the vote.
“The odds were not in our favor, and we knew it, but we knew if we could fight hard, we had a chance,” Ikley-Freeman told NBC . “It was worth fighting for.”
The typically conservative Tulsa County district was replacing Republican Dan Newberry in a part of Oklahoma’s 1st Congressional District, which President Donald J. Trump won by nearly 40 points in the 2016 presidential election. Trump received 61.4 percent of the vote, while twice-failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton only picked up 32.7 percent.
According to the Tulsa World, Democrats spent $200,000 to unseat incumbent Newberry just a year ago, and they lost by 15 percentage points.
A string of wins by Democrats came before Ikley-Freeman’s election. One week ago, Democrats saw key victories in the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey. They also saw several historic elections, including the election of the first openly transgender person in a U.S. state legislature, set to be seated in the Virginia House of Delegates.
— The Hill (@thehill) November 16, 2017
— Laurene Callander (@laurene_kjrh) November 15, 2017