Shane Stone announced Tuesday that he would be stepping down from his Oklahoma House District 89 seat on the near southwest section of Oklahoma City at the end of December.
“Representing South Side Oklahoma City has been a life-changing and rewarding experience,” Stone said in a press release Tuesday. “I will always think fondly of my time advocating for the communities in Oklahoma City that rarely get recognized at our Capitol.”
The district runs roughly from S. Portland on the west to S. Walker on the east; and, the Oklahoma River on the North to S.W. 44th Street on the south. It includes a broad cross-section of cultures. (See the map below)
Stone’s term would have ended in 2020. He had been in the post since winning the election in 2014 after a very close win in the Democratic primary against southside activist and community leader Mary Sosa.
Stone had already said he would not run again, and so Jose Cruz announced his candidacy in June expecting to campaign for over a year ending late in 2020.
But, now, with Stone’s resignation, it’s looking like Cruz will have to run in a special election early in 2020 and then if he wins, run again in the regular election later in the Fall.
“I’m thankful for Shane’s friendship over the years,” Cruz told Free Press late Tuesday. “I met him actually when he first started running. And so, now it’s come full circle.”
“I wasn’t expecting this to come so soon,” said Cruz. “But I’m glad I was able to start as early as I did back in June when I first announced and so fundraising has been going great. The money is coming in.”
He told us that since June he has knocked doors completely through the district once.
“So, I’ve really got a good head start,” Cruz told us. “And, the reception at the doors has been great.”
The 29-year-old bilingual Cruz graduated from the Oklahoma City University School of Law in the Spring and passed the bar exam.
He has been active in Democratic Party politics for several years while working for Telemundo and then southside state Senator Michael Brooks. He last served on the local Congressional 5th District staff for Representative Kendra Horn.
Cruz resigned that position in June when he announced his candidacy for Oklahoma House District 89.
The Tuesday press release announced that Stone will “delegate campaign funds to the election board to go toward a special election to name his successor.”
“I made a comment during a debate that lawmakers who leave their seat early should help pay, to the best of their ability, for the special election to replace them,” Stone said. “I still believe that today and will act accordingly.”
County Dem party statement
Oklahoma County Democratic Party Chair Robbie White talked with Free Press late Tuesday about the new developments.
“The resignation date was a bit of a surprise,” said White. “Jose Cruz is organizing. I feel like he’s ready.”
“Representative stone has given great service,” she said. “He’s just been a good voice for the most vulnerable Oklahomans.”
White said there should be a timely election. “Those people in House District 89 deserve good leadership and good representation. And we hope that happens very quickly.”
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