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Commentary Elections bring Senate majority change L


Chris Meyers General Manager, Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives


ast month, Oklaho- mans—and voters from all 50 states— went to the polls on


November 4 and, particularly at the national level, made their voices heard. In Oklahoma, Gov. Mary Fallin, defeated her Democrat


opponent, Joe Dorman, 55.8 percent to 41.0 per- cent. Lt. Gov.Todd Lamb was easily re-elected, as was incumbent Labor Commissioner, Mark Costello.


One of the more interesting races was for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Republican Joy Hofmeister—who had defeated incumbent Janet Barresi in the June primary election—defeated Democrat John Cox, winning by a 55.8 percent to 44.2 percent margin. Republicans also gained seats in the Oklahoma Legislature, where they already had super-majorities in both the House and Senate. Of the 101 House seats, Republicans will hold 72, and Democrats will have 29 when the fi rst session of Oklahoma’s 55th Legislature convenes on February 2, 2015. In the State Senate, Republicans gained four ad- ditional seats, and will have a 40 to 8 seat majority over Democrats.


Although voter turnout for these elections was low in Oklahoma (40.78 percent; lowest since 2002), the number of eligible registered voters actu- ally grew by 2.21 percent. Democrats still maintain a slight majority when it comes to registered voters, with a 43.72 percent to 43.57 percent edge over Republicans. Of interest, Independent voters gained the most percentage-wise when it comes to voter registration numbers. Oklahoma’s congressional delegation remained solidly Republican. U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe was easily re-elected, and will be joined in the senior chamber by Sen.-elect, James Lankford, who will replace re- tiring U.S. Sen., Dr. Tom Coburn. U.S. Reps. Jim Bridenstine, Markwayne Mullin,


Tom Cole and Frank Lucas were all re-elected, and will be joined by Rep.-elect Steve Russell, who won Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District formerly held by James Lankford. Republicans regained control of the U.S. Senate, winning at least eight seats formerly held by Democrats in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia. How will this change of control affect elec- tric cooperatives?


It will be interesting to see what legislation will move through Congress with both the House and Senate in GOP hands.


Make it about quality, not quantity “ I


Jimmy Taylor President, Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives


n the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years,” said one of our nation’s forefathers, Abraham Lincoln. More frequently than not, the end of the year motivates many of us to reflect. Collectively and individual-


ly, we had the opportunity to give thanks last month, and now we look forward to celebrating Christmas with family and friends. How many of us have heard the expression, “It’s the most won- derful time of the year?”


Indeed, it’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, and I would like to encourage you to keep it that way.


In our commercialized society, it seems a grow- ing number of us are rushing around, running er- rands, and working longer hours instead of taking the time to “smell the roses.” It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of the season, the long shop- ping lists and the many functions calling our attention.


4 WWW.OK-LIVING.COOP


Still, in the midst of our full schedules, some of us take time to ponder how short life is. Like the years in your life, you can count how many Christmases you have had—most of them were probably very joyful occasions while some others could have been fi lled with pain or distress. In the end, however, we know what matters most are the people we share it with, the relationships we nur- ture and the new ones we form. This Christmas season, and every day, electric cooperatives are committed to providing safe, reli- able and affordable electricity to you and your fam- ily, but your cooperative is not just another utility provider. Cooperatives go beyond; they have a genuine interest in the welfare and well being of their member-owners. Co-op board members, leaders and employees are your fellow community members, and—like neighbors helping neighbors— they enjoy caring for each other. We know the people—you—are what matter most. This Christmas, I encourage you to invest time


in people, not in material things. As our compa- triot Abraham Lincoln stated, let’s focus on the quality of our years, not on the quantity. Merry Christmas!


Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives


Chris Meyers, General Manager Jimmy Taylor, President


Kendall Beck, Vice-President Gary McCune, Secretary Scott Copeland, Treasurer


Staff


Sid Sperry, Director of PR & Communications sksperry@oaec.coop


Anna Politano, Editor editor@ok-living.coop


Daniel Yates, Advertising Manager dyates@ok-living.coop


Christy Johnson, Offi ce Manager cjohnson@oaec.coop


Kirbi Mills, Accountant/Offi ce Manager Asst. kmills@oaec.coop


Hayley Leatherwood, Multimedia Specialist hleatherwood@ok-living.coop


Alexis Mellons, Advertising Intern adintern@ok-living.coop


Taryn Sanderson, Editorial Intern intern@oaec.coop


Editorial, Advertising and General Offi ces


P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154-1309 Phone (405) 478-1455


Oklahoma Living online: www.ok-living.coop Subscriptions


$3.12 per year for rural electric cooperative members.


$6.00 per year for non-members. Cooperative Members: Report change of


address to your local rural electric cooperative. Non-Cooperative Members: Send address


changes to Oklahoma Living, P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154-1309.


Oklahoma Living (ISSN 1064-8968),


USPS 407-040, is published monthly for consumer-members of Oklahoma’s rural electric cooperatives by the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives, 2325 E. I-44 Service Road,


P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154-1309. Circulation this issue: 316,118


Periodical postage paid at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Association of Electric


Cooperatives is a statewide service organization for the following electric cooperatives: Alfalfa, Arkansas Valley, Caddo, Canadian Valley,


Central Rural, Choctaw, Cimarron, Cookson Hills, Cotton, East Central Oklahoma, Harmon, Indian, KAMO Power, Kay, Kiamichi, Kiwash, Lake Region, Northeast Oklahoma, Northfork,


Northwestern, Oklahoma, Ozarks, People’s, Red River Valley, Rural, Southeastern, Southwest


Rural, Tri-County, Verdigris Valley, and Western Farmers Electric Cooperative.


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