- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 8, 2015

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - A state representative from Tulsa will be moving his office across the Capitol rotunda after winning a special election for a vacant Senate seat.

State Rep. Kevin Matthews, 55, a retired Tulsa firefighter, won a three-way Democratic primary election Tuesday with 47 percent of the vote, according to unofficial election results. Regina Goodwin, 52, finished second with nearly 39 percent of the vote, while Heather Nash, 43, got 14 percent. Because no Republicans or independents filed for the seat, Matthews wins it outright with the primary victory.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” Matthews said. “I’m still pretty tired from having to run a campaign and keep up with the legislative session.”

Matthews will join just seven other Democrats in the 48-member Senate. Senate District 11 is a Democratic stronghold in north Tulsa and includes four precincts in neighboring Osage County.

The election results will be officially certified on Friday, and Matthews will be eligible to be sworn into office before the end of the month.

The Senate seat was left open when former state Sen. Jabar Shumate resigned before the start of the session. Shumate was tapped last week by University of Oklahoma President David Boren to fill a newly created position as vice president of university community.

Gov. Mary Fallin will have to call another special election for Matthews’ soon-to-be vacant House District 73 seat in north Tulsa. Democrats, who are outnumbered 72-29 in the House, will be favored to retain it.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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