Election 2010: Some happy reflections

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I've got some thoughts but am too tired to articulate them in any detail right now, so here are a few bullet points:

There's lots of reasons to rejoice, particularly in Oklahoma. Every statewide office in Oklahoma is in Republican hands, and they're all good hands, to boot.

Given that the GOP already had control of both houses of the Oklahoma legislature and was in no danger of losing either, I hadn't been paying close attention, so I was floored to learn that Republicans had a gain of 8 House and 6 Senate seats. Republicans beat 5 House incumbents and won three open seats, including House 66 (Sand Springs to midtown Tulsa).

In the Senate, Josh Brecheen beat an incumbent Democrat in Little Dixie (!), 57-43, and Kim David won Senate 18 -- a seat that has belonged to the Easley family (fils et mère) for eons. Republicans won 7 of the 10 Senate seats on the ballot. There were 4 unchallenged D seats, but 10 unchallenged R seats, making the total GOP take in this election 17-7.

Partisan breakdown in the upcoming 53rd Oklahoma Legislature: 70 R - 31 D in the House, 32 R - 16 D in the Senate.

Republicans won every contested DA election. Having Republican DAs in rural Oklahoma is a very big deal. That, plus the election of Gary Jones as State Auditor, may mean that shenanigans by county and municipal governments, school boards, and various other boards and authorities will get the scrutiny they deserve. Rex Duncan, former State Rep., is now DA for District 10 (Osage, Pawnee), and Brian Kuester won his second attempt for DA in District 27 (Wagoner, Cherokee, Adair, Sequoyah). Alan Gentges, the Democrat nominee for 1st District Congress in 2008, lost his race for DA District 11 (Washington, Nowata) 27%-73%. (Here's a map of the DA districts, which for some reason don't match the judicial districts.)

All the state questions went the way I'd hoped. 744 was deservedly crushed. The NEA blew a lot of money, and we can hope it will deter them from trying anything so foolish in other states.

At the county level, Ken Yazel won re-election as County Assessor (Nancy Bolzle is now officially a perennial candidate), and we kept Wilbert Collins from returning to the County Commission; John Smaligo retained that seat. Republicans need to clean house in 2012.

Nationally, the Republican victory was not as big as I had hoped, but it was still very impressive, with the Dems now below 200 seats in the House. Our Senate success was limited in part because 2004 was a good year for the GOP, so we had fewer opportunities to pick up seats. The distrust earned by the NRSC (endorsing RINOs like Charlie Crist over good conservative candidates like Marco Rubio) left them with fewer dollars to spend on GOTV.

I was in the room Tuesday night, at about 11 pm, when Francisco Canseco gave his victory speech. Returns were slow to come in, the gap was only a few thousand votes, so it took a while before victory was assured. Although I missed being with old friends at watch parties in Tulsa, it was exciting to have had a small part (making phone calls Monday night) in defeating a Democrat and getting Nancy Pelosi fired as speaker and off that Gulfstream jet.

NRO political analyst Jim Geraghty tweeted on Wednesday:

Bizarre feeling this morning. In short, this is the most frustrating overwhelming landslide victory of all time.

Despite all the good news, I felt the same way. More about that in another post.

Corrected: Republicans have 32 seats in the State Senate, not 24 as I first wrote.

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Roy said:

On road both last week and this, I voted Saturday. Got Tulsa Tuesday news via phone to wife and via 'net. Winced wishing to aid reading some of your pleas for assist, Mike, but could do no more than absentee vote.

Question now is will Phants have learned from past 2 decades? Specifically these 2 lessons. 1)Did not use strengtgh when had it along with Bush. 2)Donks showed how it's done with Obama.

Forget the 'let's compromise and get along nonsense.

Fear, however, that Phants reduced to doing little more than temporary roadblocking. Won't have Senate to do more; won't have wisdom to use situation to continue making their case public.

Pat McFerron said:

Mike -- just a typo, but the make-up of the State Senate is 32-16 not the 24-16 you have posted.

Thanks for all the work you've done in keeping people informed. Oddly, one of the things I have most appreciated are your reveiws of Wichita, as I had a client there this year (Mike Pompeo) and spent quite a bit of time in Wichita.

I can appreciate your approval of the results in Oklahoma, but one
word of warning: one party rule is the straight path to corruption.
It matters not whether the party is democrat, republican, or communist.
Power corrupts; unimpeded power corrupts quickly.

On the national level, I despise the unwillingness both parties have
shown to cooperate. The electoral fact is that we are split 50/50
with the big swings of 2008 and 2010 resulting from relatively small
numbers of voters failing to bother to vote. I would hope that politicians
would be humbled by the closeness of national elections. Instead, each
side seems to think it has a mandate to fiddle while Rome burns.

Hey, Stacy! Thanks for stopping by. You make a fair point, and it's one that concerns me. We had a scare a few years ago, after the Republicans had had control of the State House for one term. A young greasy power monger named Lance Cargill (who absolutely looked the part) was elected Speaker. He set up a pay-to-play fundraising scheme designed to fuel his political ambitions and keep the House membership in line. Republican House members blew the whistle on him and took the opportunity to dump him. Among the GOP legislators there's a good number of curmudgeons who don't play well with others, and they won't hesitate to call attention to officials who are trying to enrich themselves at taxpayer expense. The same is true of our new State Auditor, Gary Jones, who will be in a unique position to hold elected officials accountable. Still, it'll be up to the citizens to keep an eye out for abuse of power.

I do think that the philosophy of limited government, if actually carried out, also limits the incentives and opportunities for corruption.

Pat, thanks for catching that. 32 seats is almost unbelievable. It wasn't that long ago it was the other way around.

I'm glad you found my Wichita tips useful. I came to like the place. I wish I'd known you were up there -- would have been interesting to get some perspective behind all the yard signs, radio ads, and news stories. I was pleased that Pompeo was able to consolidate conservative support and keep the pro-tax-hike, pro-abortion RINO from winning with a tiny plurality. The lack of a runoff certainly does change the dynamic of a primary race.

LD Jackson Author Profile Page said:

Hey, Michael. One of the House seats we picked up was District 2. John Bennett defeated incumbent Bud Smithson. Bennett is a good man and should do us a great job.

Overall, the Republicans had a good result, but there is one thing we need to be careful about, at least on the national level. I have been afraid the new leadership will go off on a witch hunt against the Democrats. That would be a mistake, in my opinion.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on November 3, 2010 9:51 PM.

General Election Day 2010 was the previous entry in this blog.

Rethinking redistricting is the next entry in this blog.

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