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Republican Runoff to Determine Who Will Attempt to Take OK House District 85
Tuesday, August 2, 2016 7:00 AM

An August runoff will determine who will represent the Oklahoma Republican Party in its effort to take back House District 85, a historically red district that was flipped by Democrats last year. Matt Jackson and Robyn Matthews were the top vote recipients in last month's primary and will square off in an Aug. 23 runoff.

The northwest Oklahoma City district is currently held by incumbent Cyndi Munson (D-Oklahoma City), who won in a special election in 2014.

“It had been red so long, people just assumed it would stay that way and didn't get out to vote,” said Jackson, 42, who credited Munson for working hard and benefiting from low Republican voter turnout.

Jackson served as a sheriff's deputy for five years and is now the vice president of operations at Global Software, a 911-call software company. He is also the former chairman of the Oklahoma County Republican Party and served as a delegate for Oklahoma at the Republican National Convention in 2012.

“I want to make sure the people have a voice,” said Jackson, who refers to himself as a "grassroots Republican."

If elected, Jackson said he would work to maintain government spending on essential services and would work to fix the education crisis in the state. He added that he would not hesitate to work across party lines, but only to the benefit of his constituents.

Matthews said she has a long history in Oklahoma politics as her father ran for office when she was 6 months old. Matthews also volunteered for former District 85 representatives Odilia and David Dank in the early 2000s.

“They were kind of like second grandparents to me growing up,” Matthews said.

More recently, Matthews served as deputy campaign manager for Patrice Douglas and campaign manager for Janet Barresi in 2014.

Matthews said she decided to run because of issues affecting the state and young people coming to Oklahoma. She specifically targeted education and transparency as key campaign issues.

"There are so many issues affecting the state, and to continue to make it a place where 20-somethings want to come and want stay and raise a family, we need to make some tough changes," Matthews said. "People want to see that their tax dollars are being used effectively; they don't have specific areas where they feel like we need more or less money, but they just want to know that their tax dollars are being used the best way possible.”

Matthews finished second in the June primary, but said she feels confident about the runoff. However, Matthews and Jackson share one goal: defeating Munson and taking back the district for the Republicans.

To achieve this goal, Matthews said she would support Jackson, even if she lost:  “It's imperative that we win this seat back, so it's all about coming together after the runoff to take on Cyndi.”

Source:  The Oklahoman, July 31, 2016