While the nation was distracted by the Trump family’s latest Jerry Springer-like scandal, Democrats in Oklahoma—a state where Trump won by 65 percent last fall- quietly flipped two seats that have been held by the GOP for decades. The seats in the Oklahoma state House and Senate were vacated after the Republicans who held them resigned amid separate sex scandals.
Representative Dan Kirby (R.) was accused of sexual harassment by two legislative assistants. One of the assistants claimed that she was fired for reporting the harassment, and the Oklahoma state House had to pay $44,000 of the taxpayer’s money to her and her lawyer in a settlement. Kirby, who ran unopposed in 2012 and 2014 and won with 60 percent of the vote in 2016, will be replaced by Democrat Karen Gaddis. When asked how she was able to win a seat that has been held by Republicans for over 15 years, Gaddis replied:
We worked really hard, and I think more Democrats came out to vote. I think the Republicans may have thought it would just be the way it always is.
State Senator Ralph Shortey, the other member of the Oklahoma State Congress that resigned, is facing three felony charges after allegedly soliciting sex from a 17-year-old boy at an area hotel. Shortey will be replaced by Democrat Michael Brooks-Jimenez, who took the traditionally Republican seat with 55 percent of the vote. Said Brooks-Jimenez:
Today, a chapter of failed leadership has closed. We find ourselves ready to restore the voters’ trust and bring integrity back to the office
The elections in Oklahoma are just the most recent in a trend of Dems flipping seats in a traditionally Republican district or making the GOP fight for seats that they have been able to take for granted in the past.
A lesson for Republicans: Don’t get too comfortable. If you insist on continuing to elect sleazy sexual predators like our current POTUS, the public may be so turned off by their actions that they scrap the whole party and vote in replacements from the opposite side of the aisle.