Tonight the Merrick family joined with several senators, campaign volunteers, & supporters; to watch the election polling numbers come in. Jake Merrick won the seat very handily.
The very large crowd gathered on NW Expressway and around 9pm the team declared "a landslide". Of the 11,300 votes cast, Merrick got close to 2/3 of them. The Democrat opponent, Molly Ooten, only got a majority in 1 of the 27 precincts, and that was precinct 135, where a very small turnout of less than 200 total ballots.
We asked Merrick what he did to win this battleground district in an OKC metro which has been recently losing ground to Democrats?
Merrick says he decided not to hire campaign professionals but he had a great group of volunteers working tirelessly for months.
He also credits some sitting senators who came to his aid in the closing days of the general election.
Senator Nathan Dahm told us he sees an electorate which is turning more to the right and he saw Merrick as a strong conservative he could work with in the Oklahoma Senate.
In recent years several Republican legislators have vacated seats early, causing special elections. Most of those races were won by Democrats on thin margins. Tonight reverses that trend.