Several local Republicans won area legislative seats in Tuesday’s general election, including newcomer Justin Freeland Wood, with Reps. Josh Cockroft, and Tom Newell winning re-election bids.
Wood won the Oklahoma House District 26 seat by 60.6 percent, or nearly 7,500 votes.
Democratic challenger Patty Wagstaff took nearly 5,000 votes at 39.4 percent.
House Speaker Kris Steele, who has held the seat since first being elected in 2000, is term limited and couldn’t seek another term.
Incumbent Cockroft took the House District 27 seat by defeating challenger
Randy Gilbert, a Democrat. With 16 of 17 precincts reporting, Cockroft had 7,546 votes to 4,760 for Gilbert.
Newell, the Republican incumbent from House District 28, took 62.8 percent with more than 7,000 votes.
Democratic challenger Marilyn Rainwater had nearly 4,200 votes, or 37.2 percent.
“I’ve been blessed,” Wood said. “It’s been a very humbling experience.”
“I’d like to thank my opponent for wanting to represent Shawnee,” he added.
Wood said his first order of business at the Capitol will be working with the other freshmen representatives, and cultivating those relationships.
“I want to make sure I develop the relationships that are necessary,” he said.
Wood said he had already met with several of the freshmen representatives to begin discussions.
“We want to make decisions that are best for everybody in Oklahoma,” he said.
Wood said he will work on improving public education by working with teachers, parents and students, as well as making Oklahoma the “most business-friendly state in the Union,” he added.
“There’s so much I want to get done, it’s just a matter of representing Shawnee with character,” Wood said.
Wagstaff said she enjoyed her experience of running for office.
“I wish Justin the best of luck, and I think he’ll represent our community well,” Wagstaff said.
“I appreciate all of my friends and family that supported me,” she added.
Cockroft said he was thankful for being reelected.
“We’re looking forward to working for the next two years,” he said.
Cockroft’s priorities will include making sure state government is efficient, continuing public safety, and helping rural schools.
Page 2 of 2 - “I’m always looking for ways we can get rid of waste in state government,” Cockroft said.
“Well done to Randy Gilbert,” he added. “I look forward to working with him as a vital member of the community over the next two years.”
Gilbert congratulated Cockroft on his win.
“We look forward to moving Oklahoma forward,” Gilbert said.
“Thank you to all of my supporters and volunteers,” he added. “I was overwhelmed with support.”
Newell said “I’m humbled the voters of District 28 have put their faith in me for two more years,” Newell said.
Newell add he will focus on making tax structures lower and more efficient, and improving Oklahoma’s infrastructure.
“We want to work on the Capitol without building too much debt,” he said.
Rainwater, the democratic challenger, said she is proud of her campaign.
“Of course, I’m disappointed,” she said.
“I don’t have any regrets,” she added.
“I plan to use the next two years to hold Mr. Newell accountable, and I’ll be back in two years,” Rainwater said.
U.S. Congressman James Lankford easily retained his seat in Tuesday’s election.
Lankford took 153,421 votes, or nearly 60 percent. Challenger Tom Guild took 97,359 votes, and independent Pat Martin took more than 5,000 votes. Libertarian Robert Murphy took more than 5,000 vote.
Supreme Count Judge Doug Combs from Shawnee was one of 12 appellate judges to be retained Tuesday. With 1,858 of 1,960 precincts reporting, 731,012 voters favored retention of Combs while 370,279 were opposed.