By David Vandygriff
A 26-year-old married gay woman has won an Oklahoma Senate seat from an anti-gay opponent. Allison Ikley-Freeman was victorious over Republican Brian O’Hara in a special election, winning the west Tulsa County district seat. She won by 31 votes.
Her win was a surprise in the conservative area, especially as she was lightly funded by the Democratic party. Last year, Democrats threw $200,000 and a first-tier candidate at Senate District 37, trying to unseat incumbent Republican Dan Newberry. But they lost by 15 percentage points.
Complete but unofficial results showed Ikley-Freeman with 2,234 votes to 2,203 for O’Hara, according to Tulsa World. Only 4,437 people voted in this special election, compared to almost 32,000 in last year’s general election.
The mental health counselor said she and her campaign team worked hard at targeting voters they knew would turn out for her in a low-volume election. ‘When we were knocking on doors, so many people said, “Thank you. We didn’t know there was an election”,’ Ikley-Freeman said.
Ikley-Freeman, who married her 40-year-old wife Dawn in March this year, campaigned on mental health care, housing, and opposition of bathroom bills targeting transgender people.