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The Latest: Democrats gain in state Senate, GOP in House

November 7, 2018

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Latest on the 2018 Oklahoma midterm elections. (all times local):

1:45 p.m.

Republicans and Democrats traded a handful of seats in the Oklahoma House and Senate in legislative elections but the GOP will maintain control of the Legislature for at least another two years.

Half of the seats in the 48-member Senate and all 101 seats in the state House were up for grabs in this year’s round of elections that concluded with Tuesday’s general election.

Preliminary results indicate Democrats picked up one new seat in the Senate, the first time Democrats have had a net gain of Senate seats during a regular election cycle since 1990. There are now 39 Republicans and nine Democrats in the Senate.

In the state House, Republicans gained three seats to expand their majority to 76-25.

Republicans have controlled both houses of the Legislature since 2008.

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1:20 p.m.

Oklahoma voters have rejected a statewide referendum backed by Walmart to allow optometrists and opticians to operate in retail stores and a separate measure to allow school districts to use property tax revenue for classroom needs instead of only for a district’s building fund.

Of the five state questions on the ballot this year, the only one that passed is known as Marsy’s Law, which would expand crime victims’ rights.

Measures to elect the governor and lieutenant governor on a joint ticket and to create a gross production budget reserve fund from oil and natural gas revenue were also defeated.

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6 a.m.

Republicans maintained their hold on Oklahoma government from the state to the federal levels in the midterm elections, save for one bright spot for Democrats.

Democrat Kendra Horn upset incumbent Republican Steve Russell Tuesday in the Oklahoma City-based District 5 race. Republicans will represent Oklahoma’s four other congressional seats in Washington.

Political newcomer and Republican Kevin Stitt rode his outsider status to a big win to replace term-limited Gov. Mary Fallin and Republicans won all other statewide races in the general election.

Only a handful of the nearly 50 teachers on the ballot were successful in their races for state legislative seats, but there will still be more educators in the Legislature.

Three Democratic incumbents, including House Minority Leader Rep. Steve Kouplen of Beggs, were defeated.

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