Democrats flip one of three statehouse seats during special elections


(AP) -- 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.

Republicans held on to two other legislative seats in Tuesday's election. Republican Paul Rosino won in Senate District 45. Rosino fills a seat vacated after the resignation of Kyle Loveless. The district encompasses parts of southwest Oklahoma City and Mustang.

In the Oklahoma House, Ross Ford defeated Chris VanLandingham for the District 76 seat which covers portions of Tulsa.

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