Democrats in Oklahoma won their fourth straight special election in the state this year on Tuesday night. The most recent victory was especially sweet for the surging democratic voting base in the historically deep red state.
The Tulsa World reports Democrat Allison Ikley-Freeman won a state senate seat by 31 votes over Republican Brian O’Hara in Oklahoma’s Senate District 37.
In addition to being Oklahoma’s newest state senator, Ikley-Freeman is a 26-year-old lesbian who is married to an African-American woman. In an interview with NBC News, she said that she knew it was going to be a struggle.
“The odds were not in our favor, and we knew it, but we knew if we could fight hard, we had a chance. It was worth fighting for.”
Congratulations to our new Senator-Elect, Allison Ikley-Freeman! pic.twitter.com/qVKZ1OKSXL
— OK Democratic Party (@OkDemocrats) November 15, 2017
In 2016, President Trump won the historically conservative 1st Congressional District by almost 40 points, with Hillary Clinton winning less than 33% of the total votes.
Ikley-Freeman focused her campaign efforts at targeting voters he campaign felt would turn out for her in a low-volume special election.
“When we were knocking on doors, so many people said, ‘Thank you. We didn’t know there was an election.”
Her victory comes a week after Democrats won a number of special elections across the country. That wave of victories saw the first African American elected to statewide office in Virginia in a quarter of a century, and the first Sikh mayor in the history of the state of New Jersey.
The special election held on Tuesday was to fill the seat of Republican Dan Newberry, who was retiring from the state Senate.