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Oklahoma CUs Make Their Voices Heard in Special Primary Election
Wednesday, July 22, 2015 7:00 AM

A special primary election was held July 14 to fill a vacant seat in Oklahoma House District 85. The seat became vacant with the death of State Rep. David Dank earlier this year.

The Oklahoma Credit Union Political Action Committee actively supported Chip Carter who garnered 39 percent of the vote to claim the “winner-take-all” contest. He will face Democrat Cyndi Munson in a Special General Election on Sept. 8.

“Chip Carter is the type of thoughtful, business-friendly Republican we need in the legislature,” said Nate Webb, president of the Oklahoma Credit Union Association.

Special elections for a House seat do not typically draw significant public attention. This was a hotly contested and closely watched primary. It was viewed as a contest between a traditional “chamber of commerce” Republican and the ultra-conservative wing of the party.

“Chip comes from the business community and believes in free-market principals. Like Oklahoma credit unions, he opposes excessive legislative and regulatory intrusion. It’s why we felt it important to support his campaign for the Republican nomination,” Webb said. 

District 85 also has historical importance. Before David Dank, his wife Odilia held the seat. She was the first Republican to chair the House Education Committee. And before Odilia, Gov. Mary Fallin got her political start in District 85.

Carter also received endorsements from Gov. Fallin and U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe. Shifting partisan allegiances and a well-funded Democrat make it reasonable to predict a competitive race leading up to the September election.