Oklahoma Watch, – October 21, 2021 (Long)
Oklahoma’s only competitive congressional district over the past decade could return to firm Republican control — or it could be changed to give Democrats the best chance they’ve seen in years.
State lawmakers will return to the Capitol on Nov. 15 for a special session to complete their once-every-decade redistricting work.
In addition to rewriting the boundaries for legislative districts, the Legislature is also tasked with creating a new map for the state’s five congressional seats.
Since Oklahoma’s population grew by 200,000 residents — with much of that 5% growth coming in urban areas around Oklahoma City and Tulsa — there will be some big changes for many residents.
Some proposed changes could dramatically shift Oklahoma’s political dynamics for the next decade.
“The key question is what they are doing with (U.S. Rep.) Stephanie Bice’s district,” said Michael Crespin, director of the University of Oklahoma’s Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center. “I think if or how they are going to carve up Oklahoma City is something everyone is watching.”
KOSU, – October 6, 2021 (Medium)
In an interview with The Tulsa World published late Wednesday, State Schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister announced she will switch parties and become a Democrat to challenge Gov. Kevin Stitt in the 2022 gubernatorial election.
Hofmeister was a political newcomer when she primaried fellow Republican Janet Barresi to become state superintendent in 2014 and cruised to re-election in 2018.
Changing parties is her only option, she told the newspaper, because the GOP in Oklahoma has become too closely aligned with Stitt. She’s frequently clashed with the governor during the pandemic, especially related to masking in schools.
Hofmeister held nothing back in her interview with The Tulsa World, saying Stitt is “running the state into the ground.”
She criticized Stitt’s leadership, saying he “ignored reality” in his handling of the pandemic. Stitt hasn’t held a press conference on COVID-19 since March 2021, even as the Delta variant raged in the state.
The announcement comes three weeks after Stitt called on the State Auditor to investigate Hofmeister’s Department of Education.
KOCO, – September 7, 2021 (Short)
OKLAHOMA CITY —
Oklahoma lawmakers are looking into the hot-button issue of election security, including what powers the state has compared to the federal government.
Lawmakers met at the state Capitol on Tuesday to discuss election security and other election issues.
“This is where legislation comes from because we stop and think about things right down into the weeds,” state Rep. Denise Crosswhite Hader, R-Piedmont, said.
Crosswhite Hader said they got into the weeds on elections. Topics included candidate filing and absentee ballots.
Oklahoma Watch, – April 23, 2021 (Short)
Oklahoma’s legislative districts are set to look much different for many voters next election season.
Republican House and Senate leaders unveiled their proposed legislative redistricting plans this week, setting up potential floor votes on the packages.
Because of a delay from the U.S. Census Bureau in releasing its data, Oklahoma and states across the country have yet to receive the final population figures used to redraw state and legislative and congressional districts every decade.
That means Oklahoma lawmakers will have to return for a special session to finish redistricting work in late summer or early fall, when the final data is expected to be ready.