Tuesday night, six incumbent Republicans lost their primaries in Oklahoma’s state House election, according to The Republic. Though their replacements don’t appear to be much different, voters would disagree.
The defining factor was education. The Republic notes that all six incumbent Republican House members “lost their jobs Tuesday, and all six voted against a tax hike used to fund a teacher pay raise.” Voters heard their teachers loud and clear after their strikes earlier this year in which they called for pay raises and an end to overcrowded classrooms. The Republic goes on to mention that, “Of the 19 House Republicans who voted against the tax hike, eight have now been defeated. Seven others decided not to run. Only four have advanced to the general election.”
It’s important to note how that strike ended, though, especially as new lawmakers come into the scene. Vox reports that the bills proposed to solve teachers’ issues, reallocating money to buy supplies by capping superintendents’ salaries. Teachers and union members think that put the pressure on local administration, and they’re probably right. Instead of supporting the system, these bills pit educators against their employers. Those bills astroturfed the movement by appearing to align themselves with teachers. If these new members of the House truly support education reform in Oklahoma, they’ll have to prove it.