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Oklahoma Democratic Party
ChairpersonAlicia Andrews[1]
Senate leaderKay Floyd
House leaderEmily Virgin
Founded1907
Headquarters3815 N Santa Fe Ave., Suite 122
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73118
Youth wingYoung Democrats of Oklahoma
Membership (2021)747,273[2]
IdeologyConservatism
Modern liberalism
Political positionCenter
National affiliationDemocratic Party
Unofficial colorsBlue
Seats in Oklahoma Senate
9 / 48
Seats in Oklahoma House of Representatives
18 / 101
Website
www.okdemocrats.org

The Oklahoma Democratic Party is an Oklahoma political party affiliated with the Democratic Party. Along with the Oklahoma Republican Party, it is one of the two major parties in Oklahoma politics.

The party dominated local politics in Oklahoma almost since the days of early statehood in 1907 to 1994. In national politics, the party became a dominant force beginning with the presidential election of 1932 and the Franklin D. Roosevelt political re-alignment. From 1932 to 1994, the majority of members of Congress from Oklahoma have been Democrats, and of the 27 men and women who have been elected to the office of Governor of Oklahoma, 22 have been Democrats.[3]

However, the party has fared poorly since 1994; Democrats lost five out of six congressional races that year. Since then, they have won only a handful of seats, which they no longer hold. In response, the traditionally disorganized Oklahoma Democrats have taken steps to create a more organized state party, hiring a professional executive director in 1995.[4] Even so, Democrats continued to lose ground in the 2000s, losing control of both the Oklahoma House of Representatives and the Oklahoma Senate. In 2008, Oklahoma gave the lowest percentage of any state's vote to national Democrat Barack Obama in the presidential election.

As of January 15, 2021, there are 748,222 registered Democratic voters in Oklahoma.[5]

In the 2012 general election, the party was successful in defending all incumbents in the Oklahoma Legislature and defeating two Republican House members.

In 2018, Kendra Horn defeated incumbent Republican congressman Steve Russell, to become the first Democrat elected to Congress from Oklahoma since 2010. She lost reelection to Republican challenger Stephanie Bice in 2020.

History

Statehood and the 20th Century

The Oklahoma Democratic Party once dominated state politics for much of Oklahoma history from 1907 to 1994, with its strength in greatest concentrations in the southeastern part of the state, known as "Little Dixie" because of the post-Reconstruction migration of people from southern states such as Mississippi, Texas and Arkansas.[4]

Upon statehood, all but one of the Congressional seats was held by Democrats. The Democrats won eighteen of the twenty-one gubernatorial elections since its statehood in 1907. The Democratic Party held on average 81 percent of the seats in the state legislature between 1907 and 1973.[6] With the onset of the Great Depression, the party gained even more influence for several decades.

The first legislature, dominated by Democratic party members, passed legislation that made it nearly impossible for African-Americans to seek elective office.[7]

Democratic opposition to deficit spending in the late 1930s marked a growing conservative movement in the party, which led to a 1941 constitutional amendment requiring legislators to pass a balanced budget.[8] The growing conservative movement in the party also led to the rejection of many New Deal programs after initial acceptance in the early 1930s.[9]

After the federal Voting Rights Act and congressional reapportionment in Oklahoma in the 1960s, black state lawmakers returned to the Oklahoma Legislature, this time many aligning with the Democratic Party and hailing from Tulsa or Oklahoma City.[10]

Since the 1980s the party has seen a decline as Christian fundamentalists have shifted to the Republican Party. The Democratic Party has not attained more than 41 percent of the vote for president.

21st Century

As of 2000 about 55 percent of Oklahoma voters registered as Democrats.[11] The party continues to decline in strength in both the Oklahoma Legislature and executive branch. For the first time since statehood, Republicans held all statewide-elected offices starting in 2011.

In the 2020 Oklahoma elections, Democrat Mauree Turner became the first Muslim Oklahoma state legislator and the first publicly non-binary U.S. state legislator in the United States.[12]

Electoral history

Election year No. of
House seats
+/– Governorship No. of
Senate seats
+/–
1907
85 / 101
Decrease 16 Charles N. Haskell
42 / 48
Decrease 6
1908
62 / 101
Decrease 23
38 / 48
Decrease 4
1910
75 / 101
Increase 13 Lee Cruce
35 / 48
Decrease 3
1912
82 / 101
Increase 7
38 / 48
Increase 3
1914
83 / 101
Increase 1 Robert L. Williams
42 / 48
Increase 4
1916
75 / 101
Decrease 6
43 / 48
Increase 1
1918
71 / 101
Decrease 4 James B.A. Robertson
38 / 48
Decrease 6
1920
28 / 101
Decrease 43
31 / 48
Decrease 7
1922
87 / 101
Increase 59 Jack C. Walton
36 / 48
Increase 5
1924
77 / 101
Decrease 10 Martin Trapp
42 / 48
Increase 6
1926
79 / 101
Increase 2 Henry S. Johnston
39 / 48
Decrease 3
1928
54 / 101
Decrease 25
38 / 48
Decrease 1
1930
91 / 101
Increase 37 William H. Murray
36 / 48
Decrease 2
1932
97 / 101
Increase 6
43 / 48
Increase 7
1934
94 / 101
Decrease 3 E.W. Marland
47 / 48
Increase 4
1936
98 / 101
Increase 4
48 / 48
Increase 1
1938
88 / 101
Decrease 10 Leon C. Phillips
47 / 48
Decrease 1
1940
94 / 101
Increase 6
46 / 48
Decrease 1
1942
77 / 101
Decrease 17 Robert S. Kerr
44 / 48
Decrease 2
1944
79 / 101
Increase 2
42 / 48
Decrease 2
1946
79 / 101
Steady 0 Roy J. Turner
42 / 48
Steady 0
1948
89 / 101
Increase 10
43 / 48
Increase 1
1950
81 / 101
Decrease 8 Johnston Murray
44 / 48
Increase 1
1952
88 / 101
Increase 7
42 / 48
Decrease 2
1954
82 / 101
Decrease 6 Raymond D. Gary
43 / 48
Increase 1
1956
81 / 101
Decrease 1
45 / 48
Increase 2
1958
91 / 101
Increase 10 J. Howard Edmondson
45 / 48
Steady 0
1960
88 / 101
Decrease 3
44 / 48
Decrease 1
1962
77 / 101
Decrease 11 Henry Bellmon
42 / 48
Decrease 2
1964
79 / 101
Increase 2
41 / 48
Decrease 1
1966
78 / 101
Decrease 1 Dewey F. Bartlett
39 / 48
Decrease 2
1968
79 / 101
Increase 1
38 / 48
Decrease 1
1970
79 / 101
Steady 0 David Hall
39 / 48
Increase 1
1972
78 / 101
Decrease 1
38 / 48
Decrease 1
1974
78 / 101
Steady 0 David L. Boren
38 / 48
Steady 0
1976
81 / 101
Increase 3
38 / 48
Steady 0
1978
77 / 101
Decrease 4 George Nigh
37 / 48
Decrease 1
1980
75 / 101
Decrease 2
36 / 48
Decrease 1
1982
75 / 101
Steady 0
34 / 48
Decrease 2
1984
69 / 101
Decrease 6
34 / 48
Steady 0
1986
70 / 101
Increase 1 Henry Bellmon
31 / 48
Decrease 3
1988
69 / 101
Decrease 1
34 / 48
Increase 3
1990
67 / 101
Decrease 2 David Walters
36 / 48
Increase 2
1992
67 / 101
Steady 0
35 / 48
Decrease 1
1994
60 / 101
Decrease 7 Frank Keating
31 / 48
Decrease 4
1996
59 / 101
Decrease 1
29 / 48
Decrease 2
1998
59 / 101
Steady 0
29 / 48
Steady 0
2000
53 / 101
Decrease 6
27 / 48
Decrease 2
2002
54 / 101
Increase 1 Brad Henry
26 / 48
Decrease 1
2004
55 / 101
Increase 1
26 / 48
Steady 0
2006
44 / 101
Decrease 11
24 / 48
Decrease 2
2008
40 / 101
Decrease 4
22 / 48
Decrease 2
2010
31 / 101
Decrease 9 Mary Fallin
16 / 48
Decrease 6
2012
29 / 101
Decrease 2
12 / 48
Decrease 4
2014
29 / 101
Steady 0
8 / 48
Decrease 4
2016
26 / 101
Decrease 3
8 / 48
Steady 0
2018
25 / 101
Decrease 1 Kevin Stitt
9 / 48
Increase 1
2020
20 / 101
Decrease 5
9 / 48
Steady 0

Note: Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins provided tie breaking vote in the State Senate following the 2006 elections, giving Democrats a majority

Current structure and composition

The Oklahoma Democratic Party headquarters is located North Santa Fe Avenue in Oklahoma City.[13] They host the biennial state conventions in May of odd-numbered years, in which they elect executive officers and delegates to the Democratic National Committee. The Democratic National Committee is responsible for promoting Democratic campaign activities, overseeing the process of writing the national Democratic Platform, and supervising the Democratic National Convention. Delegates serve four-year terms concurrent with presidential elections.

Alicia Andrews, the first African American and African American Woman chair was re-elected June, 2021. Former state Representative, Eric Proctor was elected vice chair.[14] Former Governor David Walters and Kalyn Free are delegates for the Democratic National Committee.[14]

The state party coordinates campaign activities with Democratic candidates and county parties, and officers who correspond with the state's five Congressional districts. In 2005, the Democratic National Committee began a program called the "50 State Strategy" of using national funds to assist all state parties and pay for full-time professional staffers.[15]

The Young Democrats of Oklahoma is the official age 13-35 division of the Oklahoma Democratic Party.[16]

Officers and Staff

Officers:

Staff:

[18]

Ideology

Further information: Political ideologies in the United States and Factions in the Democratic Party (United States)

The Oklahoma Democratic Party is made up of conservative, centrist and liberal members. Less than a third of registered Democratic voters in Oklahoma supported President Barack Obama in 2012, due to the larger proliferation of conservative and centrist members of the party.[19]

Compared to other Democratic factions, Centrist members of the Oklahoma Democratic Party support the use of military force and the use of deadly force in self-defense. They are more willing to reduce government welfare. Many Oklahoma Democrats are socially conservative by supporting the United States pro-life movement and traditional marriage. The Oklahoma Democratic Party tends to support moderate to conservative positions on gun control and open carry.

The Oklahoma Democratic Party held a state convention on May 14, 2011, in which they discussed a number of platform positions.[20] Participants discussed support for public health programs, government-funded embryonic stem cell research, the legalization of medical marijuana, education funding, and opposition to voucher programs that divert tax dollars to private institutions.[20] They also discussed the state party's support of teacher's rights to unionize and policies to protect homeowners from unfair foreclosures.[20] Other party platform positions included support for the elimination of predatory lending practices, support for limitations on credit card interest rates, support for the elimination of the state sales tax on food, support for increasing taxes on the wealthiest citizens of Oklahoma, and support for reforms to the state criminal justice system.[20] The party's position on gun laws was moderate, stating support for limited, but responsible gun laws.[20] The party also supports continued investments in green energies.[20]

Current elected officials

As of October 2021, the Oklahoma Democratic Party does not have a majority in either house of the state legislature or hold any federal seats. The only statewide Democratic official in Oklahoma is Joy Hofmeister, who switched parties in October 2021.[21]

Legislative leadership

Notable Oklahoma Democrats

Democratic Governors

As of 2022, there have been a total of 22 Democratic Party Governors.

# Name Picture Lifespan Gubernatorial
start date
Gubernatorial
end date
1 Charles N. Haskell
HASKELL, C.N. GOVERNOR LCCN2016858937 (cropped).jpg
1860–1933 November 16, 1907 January 9, 1911
2 Lee Cruce
Lee Cruce.jpg
1863–1933 January 9, 1911 January 11, 1915
3 Robert L. Williams
RobertLWilliams.jpg
1868–1948 January 11, 1915 January 13, 1919
4 James B. A. Robertson
JBA Robertson 1920.jpg
1871–1938 January 13, 1919 January 8, 1923
5 Jack C. Walton
Jack Walton.jpg
1881–1949 January 8, 1923 November 19, 1923
6 Martin E. Trapp
MartinETrapp.jpg
1877–1951 November 19, 1923 January 10, 1927
7 Henry S. Johnston 1867–1965 January 10, 1927 March 20, 1929
8 William J. Holloway
Governor William Holloway.jpg
1888–1970 March 20, 1929 January 12, 1931
9 William H. Murray
Murray 3820618984 5cb0d9555b o.jpg
1869–1956 January 12, 1931 January 14, 1935
10 E. W. Marland
E. W. Marland (Oklahoma Governor).jpg
1874–1941 January 15, 1935 January 9, 1939
11 Leon C. Phillips
Leon Phillips 1938.jpg
1890–1958 January 9, 1939 January 11, 1943
12 Robert S. Kerr
Robert S. Kerr.jpg
1896–1963 January 11, 1943 January 13, 1947
13 Roy J. Turner
Roy J. Turner.jpg
1894–1973 January 13, 1947 January 8, 1951
14 Johnston Murray
Gov Johnston Murray.jpg
1902–1974 January 8, 1951 January 10, 1955
15 Raymond D. Gary
Raymond Gary.jpg
1908–1993 January 10, 1955 January 12, 1959
16 J. Howard Edmondson
JHEdmondson.jpg
1925–1971 January 12, 1959 January 6, 1963
17 George Nigh
George Nigh 1972.jpg
1927– January 6, 1963 January 14, 1963
20 David Hall
David Hall (Oklahoma Governor).jpg
1930–2016 January 11, 1971 January 13, 1975
21 David Boren
David Boren (OK).png
1941– January 13, 1975 January 8, 1979
22 George Nigh
George Nigh (cropped).jpg
1927– January 8, 1979 January 12, 1987
24 David Walters
David Walters.jpg
1951– January 14, 1991 January 9, 1995
26 Brad Henry
BradhenryDEA.jpg
1963– January 13, 2003 January 10, 2011

See also

References

  1. ^ "The ODP Makes History Again – Elects First African American Woman Chair". 10 June 2019.
  2. ^ Winger, Richard. "March 2021 Ballot Access News Print Edition". Ballot Access News. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  3. ^ Oklahoma Government, Oklahoma Historical Society (accessed February 11, 2010).
  4. ^ a b Gaddie, Ronald Keith. Democratic Party, Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture (accessed February 11, 2010).
  5. ^ [1], Oklahoma State Election Board (accessed 21June2021)
  6. ^ Carney, George O., "McGuire, George O. (1865-1930)," Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture Archived May 31, 2010, at the Wayback Machine (accessed May 28, 2010).
  7. ^ Bruce, Michael L. "Hamlin, Albert Comstock (1881-1912)" http://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=HA015, Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, Oklahoma Historical Society. (accessed April 17, 2013)
  8. ^ Everett, Dianna. Budget-Balancing Amendment, Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture (accessed May 11, 2013)
  9. ^ Bryant Jr., Keith L. New Deal, Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture (accessed May 9, 2013)
  10. ^ Franklin, Jimmie Lewis. African Americans, Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture Archived April 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine (accessed May 11, 2013)
  11. ^ Gaddie, Ronald Keith. "Democratic Party." Oklahoma Historical Society. Ed. Nancy L Bednar. Oklahoma Historical Society. Ed. Ronald Keith Gaddie. Web. Nov. 7 2011. http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/D/DE013.html.,
  12. ^ Forman, Carmen (16 April 2021). "Rep. Mauree Turner is 'comfortable with being uncomfortable' in Oklahoma's Legislature". The Oklahoman. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  13. ^ Contact Us, Oklahoma Democratic Party (accessed February 11, 2010).
  14. ^ a b [2], Oklahoma Democratic Party (accessed February 11, 2010).
  15. ^ Gilgoff, Dan (16 July 2006). "Dean's List". U.S. News & World Report. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012. Retrieved April 26, 2007.
  16. ^ Ydoklahoma.com (accessed May 11, 2013)
  17. ^ a b c d "State Central Committee".
  18. ^ http://www.okdemocrats.org
  19. ^ 2012 Election Analysis: Obama and Oklahoma Democrats, Soonerpoll.com (accessed May 11, 2013)
  20. ^ a b c d e f Baggett, James. "Oklahoma Democrats." 2011 Convention: Rules, Resolutions, Affirmative Action Committee members (two men and two women); to consider proposed Minutes from 2009. Oklahoma Democrats, n.d. Web. 7 Nov. 2011. <http://www.okdemocrats.org 2011-convention-rules-resolutions-minutes-from-2009>.
  21. ^ Eger, Andrea; Krehbiel, Randy (October 6, 2021). "Joy Hofmeister to flip parties, challenge Kevin Stitt for governor in 2022". Tulsa World.
  22. ^ "Kay Floyd | Oklahoma Senate".
  23. ^ "Emily Virgin named House minority leader". 15 November 2018.