School Choice Supporters Victorious in Oklahoma Elections

The American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, congratulates the candidates who support educational choice on their successes in today’s primary election in Oklahoma. The election results are in line with numerous public polls of Oklahoma voters that have found strong, bipartisan support for school choice.

Statement from Tommy Schultz, National Communications Director for the American Federation for Children:

“Tonight’s results continue the trend seen over the past several election cycles in Oklahoma: When given a clear choice between a candidate who supports increasing parental power and K-12 options for their child, and a candidate who defends the bureaucracy and the tired educational policies of the past, voters prefer the education reform candidate who supports educational choice. Oklahomans from both political parties today showed support for school choice by casting votes for candidates who favor giving parents more options to customize their child’s education for their individual needs. It’s time to give children more educational opportunity through charter schools, education savings accounts, tax credit scholarship programs, and similar policies. AFC applauds these candidates for standing up for Oklahoma families.”

OFC-AF Election Highlights

  • HD 83 – Jason Reese (R) – Open seat – WIN
  • HD 39 – Ryan Martinez (R) – Incumbent – WIN
  • HD 40 – Chad Caldwell (R) – Incumbent – WIN
  • HD 99 – Ajay Pittman (D) – Open seat – RUNOFF
  • HD 10 – Travis Dunlap (R) – Incumbent – RUNOFF
  • HD 43 – Jay Steagall (R) – Open seat – RUNOFF
  • HD 82 – Brad Martin (R) – Open seat – RUNOFF

Details:

AFC’s in-state committee, the Oklahoma Federation for Children Action Fund (OFC-AF) supported the following champions of school choice who won primaries today or advanced to the runoff, based upon results posted by the Oklahoma State Election Board at the time of release.

Ajay Pittman, a Democrat, received the most votes in her primary and proceeds to the runoff in August for the Oklahoma City-based House District 99. Notably, three out of four of the Democratic candidates in the race were vocal supporters of school choice.

Jay Steagall received the most votes in his race and proceeds to a Republican runoff in the race for the Yukon-based House District 43. Steagall’s showing was especially impressive since he has been deployed for much of the race and is serving in the Middle East as a member of the Oklahoma Army National Guard. His family has campaigned on his behalf, and Steagall often used video calling to directly connect with voters.

Businessman Brad Martin also advanced to a runoff in the Republican primary for the Edmond-based House District 82, a race that included 12 Republican candidates. Martin is the immediate past chairman of the Board of Astec Charter School and a member of the Advisory Board for Odyssey Leadership Academy. His wife is a school psychologist.

Attorney Jason Reese was the winner of the Republican primary in Oklahoma City-based House District 83. Reese is a member of the board of Cristo Rey Catholic High School, a startup school tailored to provide underprivileged teens both a quality education and valuable work experience.

Despite facing two opponents who support the status-quo, Rep. Travis Dunlap received the most votes and proceeds to a runoff in House District 10 near Bartlesville. Dunlap has been a strong advocate for increasing children’s access to a quality education.

Rep. Chad Caldwell, who authored legislation to augment Oklahoma’s successful tax credit scholarship program, which provides educational opportunities to children in low-income families, prevailed in the Republican primary for the Enid-based House District 40.

Rep. Ryan Martinez, a reliable supporter of school choice efforts, prevailed in the Republican primary for the Edmond-based House District 39.

The American Federation for Children is the nation’s leading school choice advocacy organization and works in states across the country to help secure additional, high-quality educational options for families.