The Edmond Sun

Local News

June 26, 2012

Jolley defeats Blair in state Senate race

EDMOND — Voters showed confidence in Republican state Sen. Clark Jolley by giving him a lion’s share victory in the Republican primary election Tuesday against his opponent, Paul Blair.

Voters went to the state Senate District 41 ballot after weeks of combative campaign rhetoric pitting Republican against Republican in the heart of a red conservative district.

Jolley, of Edmond, will face Independent Richard Prawdzienski, 64, also of Edmond, in the Nov. 6 general election.

Jolley received 4,379 votes, or 56.60 percent of the count with all 29 precincts counted, according to the Oklahoma State Election Board. Blair received 3,358 votes, or 43.40 percent of the ballot.

“I appreciate the confidence and support of the majority of Edmond Republicans who decided to cast their ballot for me today,” said Jolley, 41, chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee.

“It’s an honor to be able to serve them in the state Senate and I appreciate their confidence for another four years,” said Jolley, an attorney.

Jolley was elected to the Senate in 2004 and 2008. Term limits would end his ability to run for Senate again if he wins re-election in November.

Blair filed a lawsuit last week in Oklahoma City District Court against Jolley, the Coalition for Oklahoma’s Future Inc., and members of the political action committee.

The lawsuit states the defendants, “persisted in the publication of radio/television advertisements (hereinafter ads), designed with malice and presented with reckless disregard for the truth so that a reasonable person would not understand the truth of the matter after being exposed to the ad.”

“As we move to November, it’s my hope that we will unite with the support of my opponent,” Jolley said. “We will unite to make sure Oklahoma keeps going in the right direction.”

Blair, 49, had campaigned as a constitutional conservative who would limit the size of government and protect conservative family values. The Edmond businessman and pastor emphasized that the role of government is to provide for life, liberty and property.

“I thank my supporters very much,” Blair said. “We ran a great campaign and they just did a yeomen’s effort in working every Saturday. I just couldn’t be any more proud of them than I am.”

In the end, Jolley’s message of responsible conservative leadership resonated with voters. Modernizing the state’s transportation infrastructure is an economic incentive for business growth, he said.

His campaign focused on tax reform, creating a pro-business environment, job creation and quality education to produce a vibrant work force.

“Being pro business means that you are willing to create an environment in which business is able to flourish,” Jolley said.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses recently gave Jolley a 100 percent ranking based on his voting record.

jcoburn@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 114

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