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Political yearbook

Meet the class of Oklahoma’s newly elected officials.

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The Nov. 6 election results ushered in a new class of elected officials in Oklahoma scheduled to begin work during the start of a new legislative session in February, or in some cases, before then. Oklahomans showed preference for female candidates like never before and demonstrated a newfound respect for political outsiders.

Those outsiders include the state’s new governor, Republican Kevin Stitt, who received 12 percent more votes than his opponent, Democrat Drew Edmondson, who served as Oklahoma’s attorney general from 1995 to 2011. Oklahoma City attorney Kendra Horn is another political outsider who received more votes than her opponent, U.S. Rep. Steve Russell. Horn unseated the incumbent with 50.7 percent of votes. New faces to Oklahoma politics also include Oklahoma City-County Health Department program director turned county commissioner Carrie Blumert, math and science teacher turned state senator Carri Hicks, Oklahoma City nonprofit director turned state senator Julia Kirt and Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs advocate turned House representative Nicole Miller.

With newcomer politicians likely to make headlines in 2019, here’s a look at the men and women behind the fresh faces.

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Kevin Stitt

Elected title: governor

Also known as: Stitt was the CEO and founder of Gateway Mortgage Group. He maintains ownership of the company.

Age: 45

Family: Stitt’s family includes his wife, Sarah, and their six children.

Hometown: Stitt was born in Florida but moved to Norman as a toddler with his family.

Hero: Stitt’s hero is his grandfather, who worked as a dairy farmer in Skiatook when Stitt was a child.

Most likely to: Stitt said as governor, he is most likely to attract new business to the state with the promise of an “Oklahoma turnaround.”

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Kendra Horn

Elected title: U.S House Representative from Oklahoma’s 5th District

Formerly known as: Horn was an Oklahoma City-based attorney and the director of Sally’s List and Women Lead, nonprofit organizations that supported women candidates running for elected office.

Age: 42

Family: Horn’s family lives in Chickasha. She said she is the proud descendent of strong women who advocated for community service and engagement.

Hometown: Chickasha

Hero: Her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

Most likely to: Advocate for the expansion of Medicaid and the de-privatization of core services.

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Carri Hicks

Elected title: state senator for District 40

Formerly known as: Hicks was a science and math teacher at Deer Creek Public Schools.

Age: 35

Family: Hicks’ family includes her husband, Spencer, and their three children.

Hero: Hicks said her heroes are Oklahoma’s public school teachers.

Most likely to: Ensure that the requests made by the Oklahoma Education Association’s Together We’re Stronger campaign are met. Requests include additional teacher pay raises by the year 2020 as well as an increase in pensions for retired teachers.

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Emily Virgin

Elected title: state House minority leader

Also known as: state House representative for the 44th District

Age: 32

Family: Virgin has two nieces, and her family lives in Norman.

Hometown: Norman

Hero: Virgin said her heroes include Oklahoma civil rights activist Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher and Kate Barnard, who became the first woman elected to state office in Oklahoma in 1907.

Most likely to: Advocate for criminal justice reform.

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Mike Hunter

Elected title: Oklahoma

attorney general

Formerly known as: Governor Mary Fallin appointed Hunter as Oklahoma’s attorney general February 20, 2017.

Age: 62

Family: Hunter’s family includes his wife Cheryl and their two grown sons.

Hometown: Waukomis

Hero: Hunter’s heroes include his mother and former U.S. president Abraham Lincoln.

Most likely to: Crack down on illegal opioid manufacturers.

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Randy McDaniel

Elected title: state treasurer

Formerly known as: state House representative for the 83rd District

Age: 51

Family: McDaniel’s family includes his wife, Julie, and their two children.

Hero: McDaniel said his father is his biggest hero.

Most likely to: Work toward balancing Oklahoma’s budget alongside Governor-Elect Stitt.

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Matt Pinnell

Elected title: lieutenant

governor

Formerly known as: Oklahoma’s Republican Party chairman

Age: 39

Family: Pinnell’s family includes his wife, Lisa, and their four children.

Hometown: Tulsa

Hero: Pinnell’s heroes include his father and former professional football player and U.S. House Representative for Oklahoma’s 1st District Steve Largent.

Most likely to: Advocate for Oklahoma’s foster care families.

ALEXA ACE
  • Alexa Ace

Carrie Blumert

Elected title: Oklahoma County District 1 commissioner

Formerly known as: Oklahoma City-County Health Department program director

Age: 31

Family: Blumert’s family includes her parents, Keith and Janice, and older sister, Bonnie, who is a trial lawyer and an Oklahoma County public defender.

Hometown: Ponca City

Hero: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Most likely to: Advocate for the construction of a new Oklahoma County Jail.

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Julia Kirt

Elected title: state senator for District 30

Formerly known as: executive director of Oklahomans for the Arts

Age: 45

Family: Kirt’s family includes her husband, Nathan, and their two children.

Most likely to: Advocate for increased funding for core services including education and mental health services.

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Nicole Miller

Elected title: state House representative for District 82

Formerly known as: Advocate and employee of Oklahoma’s Department of Veterans Affairs

Age: 49

Family: Miller’s family includes her husband Doug and their two children.

Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas

Hero: Miller said her hero is her husband Doug, a retired Air Force lieutenant.

Most likely to: Oppose taxes and heavy regulations placed on small businesses.

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Leslie Osborn

Elected title: labor commissioner

Formerly known as: state House representative for District 47

Age: 55

Hometown: Salina, Kansas

Most likely to: Create a partnership between the state department of education and Oklahoma’s Department of Career and Technology Education so high school students become better aware of career options available to them.

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John Waldron

Elected title: state House representative for District 77

Formerly known as: Tulsa Public Schools history teacher

Age: 50

Hometown: New Jersey

Hero: Abraham Lincoln

Most likely to: Advocate for restoring House Bill 1017, also known as The Education Reform Act that prevented classroom overcrowding with maximum-capacity restrictions.

Photos provided and Alexa Ace

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