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Voter Dissatisfaction and Term Limits Result in Near-Record Candidate Filing in Oklahoma
Monday, April 16, 2018 7:00 AM

teacher strike
A two-week teacher’s strike coincided with Oklahoma’s three-day candidate filing.
Access to the Oklahoma State Capitol has been difficult for the past two weeks, the result of a massive teacher’s strike that brought thousands of educators from across the state to the Capitol to demand more funding for education. The final three days of the strike coincided with the three-day filing period for candidates seeking federal, state, and legislative offices. In many cases, protesters and candidates were one in the same. When it was all said and done, nearly 800 candidates had filed for office. Many are educators holding good on a promise to challenge incumbents who did not support proposals for increased classroom funding. Terms limits and retirements have led to more open seats than normal and attracted the highest number of candidates since 2000. “I think the higher-than-normal interest in running for office shows Oklahomans are watching the process at the State Capitol, and they aren’t impressed,” said Nate Webb, president of the Oklahoma Credit Union Association. Candidate interest was also fueled by the unusually high number of open seats. Because of term limits or retirements, 30 House and 11 Senate incumbents will not be on this year’s ballot. Because of terms limits, all of Oklahoma’s statewide seats are also open. A total of 15 candidates filed for governor. Webb said, "In the midst of an unpredictable election year, one thing is certain. Come November, there will be a huge turnover in the legislature; and between now and then, we will have our hands full meeting candidates and supporting the ones we think will be best for the future of Oklahoma credit unions.”