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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Primary Results in Oklahoma

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Oklahoma held its primary for in-state candidates Tuesday. (Our presidential primary was in February.)

The voter turn out statewide was very low, only about 18% of registered voters bothered to show up at the polls. Democrats showed up in slightly larger numbers than Republicans by about 50,00 voters.

There were some surprises, but all incumbents running for the legislature won reelection.

Andrew Rice won the Democratic nomination for the US Senate, but his opponent, Jim Rogers who didn't do any campaigning won 40% of the vote and actually won some counties mainly in the southern part of the state. (Oklahoma, in many ways, is the last stand of the Dixiecrats.)

My friend and fellow teacher Bert Smith lost his bid to be the Democratic nominee for the 5th US Congressional District. Steve Perry, who traveled with me in the Bethany July 4th parade, is our parties nominee for Congress. Steve is a very personable man who will give a good accounting for himself in the campaign.

The most positive news of the evening actually came from the Republlicans in Oklahoma County who showed good sense and voted Brent Rinehart out of office as county commissioner in District 2. Rinehart is under indictment for campaign fraud. He published a comic book that gained national attention for its homophobia and paranoia. Rinehart seemed to be claiming that Satan was the campaign manager for his opponents whether Republican or Democratic. Of course, the county's good news is actually not so good for the county Democratic Party since having Rinehart for an opponent would have been an easy victory for us. But it is very to know that he will not be a part of our county's government soon.

Now its on to the general election. The Republican believe that they can finally take over the legislature this year. They have been claiming that for years now. We will give them the fight of their lives.

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