Five Teachers Win Seats in Oklahoma Legislature

Nov 9, 2016

Oklahoma’s teacher caucus did not fare as well as they had hoped. Of 26 teachers running for office in the state— five won.

  • Rhonda Baker (R) - HD60
  • Forrest Bennett (D) - HD92
  • Mickey Dollens (D) - HD93
  • Michael Bergstrom (R) - SD01
  • Chris Kidd (R) - SD31

Months ago, educators decided to run for office in an effort to affect the education policies coming out of the legislature.

Oklahoma's 2016 Teacher of the Year, Shawn Sheehan, took on Republican Rep. Rob Standridge for District 15's Senate seat in Norman. As did many of his colleagues, Sheehan lost. 

"It feels like the message that the state is sending is that we’re not interested in making things better for education," he said, feeling frustrated. 

Sheehan ran as an Independent and he thinks that's what really hurt him. 

"I would be interested to see what the straight party ticket voting numbers look like. Because a straight party on either side was a loss for me," he said. 

The State Election Board shows about 325,000 Oklahomans voted for a straight Republican ticket, about 187,000 Oklahomans voted straight Democrat, and nearly 15,000 marked the Libertarian box.

Many of the teachers running for office were running as Democrats. Of the five teachers that did win their races, three were Republican and two were Democrat. 

Here's a list of all the teachers running and how they fared:

The results of Oklahoma's Teacher Caucus in Tuesday night's election. Incumbents are denoted with a dot by their name.
Credit Emily Wendler