Stephanie Bice’s ascension to create Senate vacancy

District 22 candidates needed to finish final two years of term

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U.S. Rep.-elect Stephanie Bice

By Conrad Dudderar

Senior Staff Writer

The election of Stephanie Bice to U.S. Congress will create a vacancy in the Oklahoma State Senate.

Bice, who now represents Yukon in Senate District 22, will become a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in January 2021. She will leave her state Senate seat with about two years left on her second, four-year term.

Several Yukon residents are among possible candidates reportedly considering a run for the Senate District 22 seat. This includes former State Rep. John Paul Jordan, bail bondsman Christi McRee and veteran journalist Tim Farley.

Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City, has been the District 22 state senator since 2014. (Photo by Carol Mowdy Bond)

Bice, R-Oklahoma City, won a two-year term representing Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District by defeating incumbent Democrat Kendra Horn to claim victory in the Nov. 3rd election.

Some 303,585 votes were cast across the 5th district, with Bice earning 158,044 (52.1%) and Horn garnering 145,541 (47.9%).

After the ballots were counted Nov. 3, Bice said she was honored to be elected the next representative for Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives:

“I am incredibly proud of my team, and so grateful for the support I received from dedicated volunteers, committed grassroots supporters, and so many more people in CD-5 and beyond. Thank you to all and God Bless!”

The process of selecting Bice’s successor in Senate District 22 will start after Bice submits her resignation to the Governor’s office, said Senate communications director Malia Bennett.

How the vacancy will be filled has not yet been announced.

A special election is expected to be called for voters to choose a new state senator to complete the unexpired term. This would require a filing period for eligible candidates interested in serving.

Senate District 22 is comprised of northern Oklahoma County and eastern Canadian County, including parts of Yukon, Piedmont, Edmond, and Deer Creek.

The district represents these zip codes: 73003, 73012, 73013, 73025, 73078, 73099, 73127 in Canadian County; and 73142 and 73762 in Oklahoma County.

This map shows the boundaries of Oklahoma State Senate District 22, which comprises northern Oklahoma County and eastern Canadian County. The election of Sen. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City, to the U.S. Congress will create a vacancy in the Senate. Bice has represented District 22 – which includes Yukon – since 2014.

MAKING HISTORY

Bice, 46, is the first Iranian American elected to Congress.

During the hotly contested campaign, Bice encouraged supporters to join her to “take back” the 5th Congressional district for the Republicans.

“In Congress, I’ll do what I’ve done in Oklahoma — tackle big problems head-on and work to deliver conservative solutions that grow our economy for hard-working Oklahoma taxpayers,” Bice said.

President Donald Trump endorsed Bice and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsed Horn.

Bice had defeated Terry Neese in the Republican primary runoff with 53% of 51,438 votes cast to earn the right to face Horn in the Nov. 3rd general election.

Bice has represented District 22 in the Oklahoma Senate since 2014.

She defeated two other Republican candidates, Mark Thomas and Leif Francel, to earn her first four-year term.

The incumbent senator was re-elected in 2018 to a second term after defeating Leslie NesSmith in the Republican primary and Democrat challenger William Andrews in the general election.

As a member of the Oklahoma State Senate, Bice has served on the Appropriations, Public Safety, Finance, General Government and Transportation, and Business, Commerce and Tourism committees.

A fourth-generation Oklahoman, Bice graduated from Putnam City High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing with a minor in international business from Oklahoma State University.

Bice worked for eight years for her family’s technology company and later became vice president of business development for a boutique digital marketing agency in downtown Oklahoma City.