McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State House

November 2, 2010

Red state Oklahoma elects Republican governor

OKLAHOMA CITY — Sug hed: Republicans rally

Voters, politicians say election results refute Obama polices

By Trevor Brown/CNHI Capitol Bureau

tbrown@cnhi.com        

OKLAHOMA CITY–Shade Oklahoma’s red a bit darker.

The state’s Republican Party claimed unprecedented victories Tuesday culminating with U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin’s gubernatorial win over Democrat Lt. Gov. Jari Askins.

Oklahomavoters and politicians said the results illustrate strong disapproval of President Barack Obama’s administration and the need for government leaders to refocus on fiscally conservative principals.

Republicans will now control both of the state’s legislative houses and the governor’s mansion for the first time since statehood. Fallin’s victory joins voter approval of several conservative-backed state questions and other down-ticket races that the GOP captured.

Fallin said the GOP gains are a result of voters who are not happy with the status quo and wanted a departure from polices backed by Democrats on the federal level. She pledged to respond by making government smaller and cutting spending.

“We are going to right-size our government,” she said. “And when Washington does things that hurt our economy or takes away our personal rights or freedoms, you have a governor who will stand up to Washington.”

Fallin and Democratic candidate Askins both campaigned heavily on conservative issues. But several politicians and voters agreed the strong momentum that the Republican Party carried nationwide helped boost the gubernatorial outcome.

PaulsValleyresident Dave Cunningham, who has voted both Democratic and Republican in the past, said he cast his ballot for the GOP’s gubernatorial candidate this time around. He said he wanted a candidate who would be different from Democratic Gov. Brad Henry.

“Fallin seemed the more conservative candidate,” he said.

Voters also delivered a strong rebuke of Obama’s signature policy achievement Tuesday with the approval of State Question 756. Legal experts said there would be minimal impact from the ballot measure, which changes the state’s Constitution to opt out of provisions of the federal health reform legislation, because federal law would still overrule state law.

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