Smith, Randleman win reelection bids

·3 min read

Jun. 29—David Smith and Randy Randleman won reelection bids as state representatives.

Both won their Republican primary elections Tuesday night without challengers from other parties so they both won reelection as state representatives — Smith in District 18 and Randleman in District 15.

Randleman won the District 15 race with 56.15% of the vote against Porum insurance agent Angie Brinlee and said he wanted to thank voters.

"It's a pleasure to continue to serve this district," Randleman said. "I think it's one of the best districts in Oklahoma and the more you serve them, the closer you get to them, so I just appreciate everyone who went out and voted."

District 15 represents parts of Haskell, LeFlore, McIntosh, Muskogee, Pittsburg, and Sequoyah counties.

Randleman, of Eufaula, is a certified teacher, counselor, principal, psychometrist, superintendent, and licensed psychologist who has worked with 155 school districts and 135 head start centers across Oklahoma.

He earned an associate's degree from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, bachelor's degree from the University of Tulsa, master's degree in counseling at Northeastern State University, and a Ph.D. at Oklahoma State University.

Randleman was first elected in 2019 and serves on committees for Children, Youth and Family Services, Common Education, State and Federal Redistricting, and Tourism. He also chairs the State and Federal Redistricting Southeast Oklahoma Subcommittee, and is vice chair for the A&B Human Services committee.

He said in a Q&A with the News-Capital his to priority if reelected would getting financial relief to constituents and reiterated that Tuesday night.

"One of the main things will be getting some tax breaks for the people here because of the inflation," Randleman said. "We are definitely for some relief for our people here because of how much this inflation has hit everybody."

Randleman said he hopes establish mental health facilities for children and improve mental health services for children.

When asked what he would do to promote economic development in southeast Oklahoma, Randleman has said he wants to help improve fiber optics infrastructure.

He said that would have to include improving water supplies, electricity access, and other infrastructure.

Smith, of Arpelar, won reelection with 59.28% of the vote against Holdenville attorney Andy Baca.

"I just want to tell the voters 'thank you,'" Smith said. "I want to tell the ones that voted for me 'thank you' and to the ones that didn't vote for me, I'll try to do better. I never want to let anybody down."

He was first elected in 2019 as state representative for District 18, which represents Coal, Hughes, McIntosh, and Pittsburg counties, then was reelected in 2021.

Smith on committees for Technology, A&B Select Agencies, Elections and Ethics, and the State and Federal Redistricting Southeast Oklahoma Subcommittee. He also is the vice chair for the Veterans and Military Affairs committee.

He told the News-Capital during its election forum his top priority will be continuing efforts to bring business to the district and reiterated that Tuesday night.

Smith said a hemp production plant is in the works in McAlester and he hopes to help bring in more businesses.

Oklahoma lawmakers rushed through a $700-million incentive package to attract a multi-billion-dollar business, widely reported to be Panasonic. Project Ocean would require the company to spend at least $3.6 billion on its Oklahoma site, start with 500 full-time workers in its first year, and grow to 4,000 workers within five years to qualify for incentives.

Smith told the News-Capital he voted against the bill because he believed southeast Oklahoma pay for the incentives without seeing much benefit.

He has said lawmakers try to education funding each year and believes more should be done like his bill to allow extra credit for high school students who volunteer at senior centers.

Smith has said he wants to promote tourism in southeast Oklahoma with events at Scipio Campgrounds, signage directing visitors to businesses, and more.

Contact Adrian O'Hanlon III at aohanlon@mcalesternews.com