Though Republicans insisted our November 2022 midterm elections would be a red wave, results show this assertion (like many claims made by conservatives) did not become reality. In fact, we have a number of exciting victories for Democrats and progressives, including a number of historic firsts. While some races are certain to get major coverage—the first openly lesbian governor of Massachusetts, for example, and the sweep in Michigan—smaller and more local races are absolutely worth discussing and celebrating too.
One win for Democrats comes to us out of Oklahoma, where Vicki Behenna is set to become Oklahoma County’s first federal district attorney. This race was her first bid for elected office and she won her race in a healthy landslide, coming in at 119,359 votes to her Republican opponent's 99,969. That comes out to close to nine percentage points, per local outlet KOCO.
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Behenna, who will take over for David Prater, who is retiring in January, said in her victory speech that she believes justice “has no doubts” and that it doesn’t matter where “you come from” or the “color of your skin.”
"Everybody deserves to be treated with respect and dignity,” she said on Tuesday night.
Behenna bested Oklahoma County Commissioner Kevin Calvey, an anti-choice, anti-immigrant, and pro-police conservative candidate. According to The Oklahoman, Calvey spent more money on the race than Behenna. It was also his fourth time losing out of 11 races, per the outlet.
As some background on Behenna, she formally served as a federal prosecutor and worked as an assistant U.S. attorney for more than two decades. Behenna then transitioned into working as a defense attorney before serving as the executive director of the Oklahoma Innocent Project, fighting to overturn wrongful convictions in the state.
“Most people understand that I have never run for political office before ever,” Behenna said in an interview with News 9 prior to Election Day. “And I did that now. And this time because I think experience matters.” Luckily, the voters of Oklahoma agreed.
You can check out some of that interview below.