OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — Republican Jake Merrick will fill the vacant District 22 State Senate seat after a landslide victory in Tuesday night’s special general election.
According to the unofficial results from the Oklahoma State Election Board, Merrick defeated Democratic Molly Ooten by 3,500 votes, 65.4 percent to 34.5 percent, with all precincts reporting.
Merrick, of Yukon, is a licensed minister and a co-owner of a construction company. During his campaign, Merrick said he’s running for the Senate seat to represent the conservative values he shares with most of the constituents in the district.
“I really wanted to come in and take a stand in my home state and for Oklahomans to ensure that we really preserve our God-given rights and really stand for the values that I feel like most Oklahomans share, which are conservative.” Merrick said in an interview with Free Press before the election.
Merrick received endorsements from Gov. Kevin Stitt and the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association. Merrick will join a select few of Republicans who intend to abolish abortion in the state.
The seat for SD-22 was previously held by Rep. Stephanie Bice, which became vacant after she was elected to represent Oklahoma’s 5th congressional district in November.
The traditionally Republican-majority district covers parts of northwest Oklahoma City, Yukon, Piedmont and Edmond.
Registered Republicans make up 58 percent of the voters in the district, with Democrats making up 24 percent.
Ooten ran her campaign as a lifelong Oklahoman, mother, and practicing speech pathologist.
Merrick will become the 39th Republican out of 48 members in the chamber, meaning Republicans will now hold a 39 to 9 majority over Democratic senators.
Merrick will be sworn in to represent SD-22 before the adjournment of the 2021 legislative session in May where he will serve the remaining two years of the term.
Election results are still subject to changes and are not considered final until they’re certified by the appropriate election board and will not include provisional ballot results until after 5 p.m. Friday, April 9.
Last Updated April 7, 2021, 6:33 AM by Brett Dickerson – Editor