The Campaign Spot

And Now for Some News That’s Special

Special-election news headline number one:

Shelbyville trucking business owner Pat Marsh, a Republican, captured a special election Tuesday for the vacated House 62nd District seat, giving the state GOP a little wider majority. Marsh won 4,931 votes, or 55.5 percent of the vote across three counties, to beat Democrat Ty Cobb II, who received 3,633 votes, 41 percent. Independent candidate Chris Brown, a truck driver, came in third with 255 votes, 2.9 percent. The seat came open when Democrat Curt Cobb, Ty’s brother, left the post to become Bedford County clerk and master.

While Marsh won Shelbyville, there’s no word yet on how Springfield voted.

Special-election news headline number two:

A Republican businessman cruised to an easy victory Tuesday in an overwhelmingly Democratic state House of Representatives district. Todd Russ garnered 55.9 percent of the votes to win the House District 55 seat, which has been held by a Democrat since 1965. He was opposed by Democrat Larry Peck, who recently retired as an agriculture education instructor and FFA adviser at Sentinel High School. Russ’ victory increases the Republican majority in the House to the highest in Oklahoma’s history.

Now, as I wrote recently, special elections are different. You have to remind your grassroots supporters to vote on a different day. Usually there’s little or no advertising. Turnout is a fraction of normal levels. Random factors like the weather can have a magnified effect.

But with these results, tossed in with Delaware and northern Virginia, we have a couple of indicators that the Republican grassroots are paying a bit more attention to local races and are a little more motivated to turn out . . .

UPDATE: These are the 19th and 20th Republicans to win a special election since Election Day 2008.

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