The Oklahoma State Legislature went through a special election this year to fill seven seats between the Oklahoma House and Senate. Four out of those seven went to Democratic nominees, following a larger national tendency. But of particular note is Oklahoma Senate District 37, which flipped hard from Trump-supporting to electing an out-and-married lesbian.
Serving as the third largest openly LGBTQ lawmaker in the Oklahoma State Legislature, Allison Ikley-Freeman runs as a mental health counselor by period. This is her first time running for political agency, and she operated with just $200,00 as her campaign budget, Tulsa World reports.
The race was a close one, too: Though voting was done last Tuesday, the margin between Ikley-Freeman and Republican Brian O’Hara was so narrow–less than 1 percent–that such elections wasn’t ascertained until a few weeks later.
” We knew it wasn’t an easy win ,” Ikley-Freeman explained to Tulsa World .” But I wasn’t looking for an easy win. I was looking for something that could be done with hard work .”
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Ikley-Freeman decided to run after former Sen. Dan Newberry( R) resigned from his post in June. Newberry wasn’t precisely an LGBTQ activist, either. He previously expressed support for” Christian conservative values ,” went on to say that” traditional marriages and families must be defended” according to his official site. And District 37 voted for Trump back in 2016; in fact, the whole country turned out for the president. So Ikley-Freeman’s election is a big transformation for the state.
” When “were in” knocking on doors, so many people said,’ Thank you. We didn’t know there was an election, ‘” Ikley-Freeman explained to Tulsa World .
Ikley-Freeman’s role in the Senate is more important than ever. Earlier this year, an Oklahoma Senate bill previously vowed to strip LGBTQ protections statewide, and an Oklahoma Capitol official belittled visiting LGBTQ students by calling them “cross-dressers.” Ikley-Freeman’s incoming presence is certainly a good sign for the future.