OK Education Advocates Celebrating After Primary Election Results
TULSA, Oklahoma - Education advocates are celebrating after some of their favored candidates won and some of the candidates they targeted lost.
It depends on how you count it, but about 50 teachers or administrator types are still in the running for Legislature after Tuesday’s primary, and some of the incumbents who voted against the tax increase lost their races.
When the teacher walkout ended, the grassroots and union leaders of the effort promised to shift their focus to the next election.
After Tuesday’s results, they're celebrating.
“Some of these incumbents who lost, people thought they would never lose, ever. They're gone, and we haven't even had the general election. That's incredible. That's phenomenal,” said Shawna Mott-Wright with the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association.
The teachers’ union specifically targeted several Tulsa area candidates, including Chuck Strohm, Scott McEachin and Mike Ritze; all are now leaving office after losing primary elections.
In Bartlesville, Travis Dunlap, another incumbent targeted by education advocates, lost the runoff but said his "conscience is clear" and "it was an honor to serve."
The teachers’ union believes next year they'll find more education-friendly lawmakers at the Capitol.
"We're going to keep pushing, but we do believe, already, there will be a new attitude at the Capitol. The fear is that people will think, 'Oh, that's good enough,’ that's the biggest fear," Mott-Wright said.
The Oklahoma Education Association will also be focusing a lot of attention on the governor's race. Many education advocates didn't have a lot of preference between Kevin Stitt and Mick Cornett, but, with that race decided, they'll be taking sides between Stitt, the Republican, and Drew Edmondson, the Democrat.