Senate District 43 Special Election Underway
Four Republicans filled out the paperwork to run for a state Senate seat in Oklahoma and Cleveland County, but only two will make it on the ballot along with two Democrats.
The four candidates are running for a district which will only exist in its current form for one legislative session.
With five minutes left for the filing period for Senate District 43’s special election, 45-year-old Theresa Nelson walks into the State Election Board office to file as a Republican.
The week began normal enough with Moore Representative Paul Wesselhoft filing on Monday morning at nine, for the chance to replace Senator Jim Reynolds who is moving on to Cleveland County Treasurer.
During redistricting Senators moved 43 to the south away from the Moore area.
Wesselhoft was planning to take the seat for one year and then run for Senate District 15 which was being vacated by a term limited lawmaker.
But, by Wednesday afternoon, Wesselhoft changed his mind and withdrew from the race saying it would be too expensive to run back to back campaigns and he wasn’t getting any help from the GOP.
“The senate leadership would only support me financially if I moved to the new district 43 which runs down to Duncan, Marlow, Lindsay, Newcastle. I own a home in Moore. I’m not willing to sell my home and move.”
Wesselhoft’s decision prompted Theresa Nelson to spend part of her birthday in the election board office.
“I heard that Paul Wesselhoft was not going to seek and I didn’t want to go up against an incumbent but when I found out that he wasn’t I felt strongly about filing. I have a son that has special needs.”
Nelson says her 13-year-old son is part of the inspiration for her platform in running for the Senate.
“Children with special needs, seniors, I have a mother that’s had some special needs as wells, so families, my religion is important to me.”
She will be facing 41-year-old Greg Childers out of Del City.
Childers was teaching a class in Las Vegas on Wednesday and didn’t have a chance to comment to us.
The two nearly faced a third Republican candidate who came in with his paperwork complete, but he had a $200 money order rather than cashiers’ check for the filing fee.
He left to correct the mistake at 4:30 and didn’t make it back before filing ended at 5:00.
Along with the two Republicans, two Democrats are facing off for a primary on August 9th.
30-year-old Kenneth Meador served in the military for eight years and is working on a political science degree from Oklahoma City Community College.
He says he relishes the chance to serve the public even if it’s just for one year.
“Well it’s a phenomenal opportunity and I don’t think that any time any seat should go uncontested so it’s a great opportunity and I want to serve the people of Oklahoma and I would like to stand up for middle class families, seniors and our state’s children.”
Republicans currently holds Senate District 43, but the husband and father of a seven-year-old boy says he thinks he can return it to the Democratic Party.
“I think that at any time in this country a seat can be won by either party. It’s all about what the voters want.”
Meador is facing Del City 58-year-old Larry Foster in the primary.
Foster didn’t return calls for an interview.
The general election takes place on October 11th.