Democrats have flipped another statehouse seat in deeply conservative Oklahoma amid growing frustration over years of state budget shortfalls and recent scandals that led to the resignation of Republican incumbents.
Democrat Allison Ikley-Freeman defeated Republican Brian O’Hara in Tuesday’s special election for a state Senate seat representing parts of Tulsa. Complete but unofficial election results show that Ikley-Freeman, who is a therapist at a nonprofit mental health agency, won by 31 votes.
That seat was vacated after Republican Sen. Dan Newberry said he would step down early to focus on his career in banking.
Ikley-Freeman’s win marks the fourth pickup for state Democrats in special elections this year in Oklahoma, where Republicans have dominated state politics in recent years.
It's only a matter of time before the Democrats get wins in the House and Senate, as long-time Republicans see the coming Trump train wreck and are bailing in massive numbers ahead of near-certain midterm defeat.
A retirement wave has hit House Republicans, emboldening Democrats who have become increasingly bullish about their prospects of winning back a majority in 2018.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) on Thursday became the latest Republican to announce he would not seek another term.
The 13-term Virginian followed Reps. Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), both of whom announced Tuesday — hours before Republicans suffered sweeping losses at the polls — that they’d retire from Congress.
All told, 29 Republicans will not seek reelection to their House seats, compared to only 11 for Democrats. Fifteen Republicans are retiring outright, rather than seeking other political offices or positions. Only two Democrats are doing the same.
“Anybody who has a pair of eyes and ears knows that the House is in play and at risk,” Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), who heads a moderate GOP caucus and is not seeking reelection next year, told The Hill. “And I’m sure that fact enters into the calculation of many members who are contemplating their futures."
“Do you really want to go through another year like the last one?” Dent asked.
Republicans are terrified. We'll see what happens, but these aren't just GOP freshmen and Tea Party era Republicans retiring, these are long-time committee chairs and multi-term conservatives who easily survived the last blue wave in 2006.
Republicans have near total power in the government right now and they can't quit fast enough.