Russ won 56 percent of the vote in a largely Democratic district. House District 55, held by a Democrat since 1965. Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 2-1 margin in the district, which covers Washita County and parts of Caddo, Canadian and Kiowa counties.
Russ, 48, will succeed Ryan McMullen, a Democrat, who resigned the House seat in July to take a federal post. Russ, a member of the Cordell City Council, will resign his city post before taking his oath as a state legislator.
The Republican State Leadership Committee, the nation’s largest caucus of Republican state leaders, issued a statement congratulating Russ for his win.
“His victory in this overwhelmingly Democratic district sends a clear message that individuals want the ability to determine their own destiny by electing state leaders who understand the importance of a limited government,” said Republican State Leadership Committee President Scott Ward. “During these challenging economic times, Todd will get to work with his colleagues in the Oklahoma House to ensure that elected leaders help create an environment where the economy can grow and individuals prosper.”
Russ’ special election victory is the 20th win for Republicans in state legislative special elections across the country since the November elections, according to the Republican State Leadership Committee. Its goal is to elect Republicans to the office of attorney general, lieutenant governor, secretary of state and state legislator.
Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairman Todd Goodman issued a statement thanking the volunteers who worked for Democrat Larry Peck.
“The time that Mr. Peck spent on the ground, knocking doors and talking to voters, showed the people of House District 55 that Democrats are working for them and listening to their hopes and concerns,” Goodman said. “And the outpouring of volunteerism and support from Democrats across the state gives me hope for the upcoming 2010 elections.”
- Michael McNutt, Capitol Bureau