On a very cold & icy February day, thousands in the far western edge of the OKC metro braved the elements to vote in a senate primary. The Republican Senate leadership PAC heavily funded Keri Shipley, but the people had other preferences.
Jake Merrick scored an overwhelming upset victory with over 58% of the voters choosing his leadership.
Among the issues in the race, Shipley's support for the Democrat in the recent governor's race seemed to tell the very conservative district that Merrick was the reflection of their values.
Merrick benefited from a strong ground game and an army of volunteers who were largely activists for many issues related to individual liberties.
Some dirty tricks also backfired for Shipley. An establishment Republican leader spread rumors of a lengthy court record which was intended to implicate candidate Jake Merrick. But a thorough research confirmed that an entirely different 'Jake Merrick' owned that dubious journal.
Even though there's no clear evidence that Shipley herself spread the rumors, it did potentially damage her campaign's 'integrity factor'.