The Edmond Sun

Local News

November 7, 2012

Jolley sails to Senate victory

EDMOND — With almost 80 percent of the vote, Sen. Clark Jolley retained his state Senate seat in Tuesday’s general election voting.

Jolley received 27,380 votes, or 79.4 percent of Senate District 41’s vote against Independent Richard Prawdzienski, who earned 7,103 votes, or 20.6 percent of the ballots cast, according to the Oklahoma State Election Board website. Senate District 41 encompasses most of Edmond and a portion of northern Logan County.

Jolley’s general election campaign was decidedly tame after the heat and passion of a tightly contested Republican primary contest this summer against local pastor Paul Blair.

Prawdzienski said Tuesday night that he spent no funds on campaigning for the seat. “I was hoping to measure how upset people are with the government,” he said in a phone interview. “Evidently there are 7,000 or so voters who want to see some change.”

Prawdzienski thanked those voters while vowing to continue putting his name on the ballot in the future to draw attention to his main issue — greater access by third parties to Oklahoma ballots. The longtime Edmond resident ran in this race as an Independent, but remains an active member of the Oklahoma Libertarian Party.

“Richard wore the uniform of the U.S. Marine Corps and his service to our country is something I applaud,” Jolley said in a phone interview Tuesday night. “His main issue is greater ballot access by additional parties and I appreciate his willingness to put his name on the ballot. We obviously disagreed on many issues.”

Jolley, an attorney, was first elected to the state Senate in 2004. During his second term, the senator was elected by his party as assistant majority floor leader and he served as chairman of the full Appropriations Committee and co-chairman of the Joint Appropriations and Budget Committee of the Senate.

“I want to continue the work we started,” Jolley said of his previous two terms. “There remain too many governmental agencies, although we’ve started to work on that. We reformed workers’ compensation to make sure the cost is lower to businesses and that the injured employee gets more bang for the buck. There’s a lot of things to do for education and to make sure Oklahoma continues to work on moving upward (in this area).”

The longtime Edmond resident also was the Senate author of a measure to eliminate Oklahoma’s income tax that did not pass this year. Other areas he has worked on included seeking funding for a new Medical Examiner’s Office to be built in Edmond.

“It’s an honor to represent Edmond in the state Senate,” Jolley said. “Edmond is a community of leaders — whether it be in business, military … and look at the governmental leaders who live in Edmond. There are so many leaders in this community and being selected to represent them is a huge honor.”

Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, R-Edmond, is one of those leaders as well as a former Senate colleague of Jolley’s.

“It was a really tough primary, and I think everyone realizes that. He took that primary challenge very seriously,” Lamb said Tuesday night. “To his credit, he’s risen through the ranks in the state Senate. And he’s chairman of the appropriations committee, which is an extremely significant position. He’s working hard at that and I have a lot of friends and colleagues in the state Senate and I think many people would agree that it’s few and far between to find a man or woman who works as hard or does as much research as Sen. Jolley does. He was victorious tonight because of all the hard work he puts in and in the campaign he has a lot of friends and supporters.”

Due to state term limits, this will be the last four-year term that Jolley may serve in the Senate.

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The runoff race for the 5th District congressional seat is set for Aug. 26. If the voting were today, which candidate would you support?

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