With Election Day less than two weeks away, News 9 is keeping an eye on races for state House and Senate seats.
Republican Mike Christian represented House District 93 for eight years before running for Oklahoma County sheriff in 2016.
Democrat Mickey Dollens has held the seat for the past four years. Now, Christian is running to get his old seat back.
The district is only about seven square miles in southwest Oklahoma City and consistently voted blue before electing Christian by a healthy margin in 2008.
News 9 called, emailed, texted and Facebook messaged Christian several times, but never heard back.
Calls to the Oklahoma Republican Party also went unanswered.
Prior to running in 2016, Democratic incumbent Mickey Dollens worked on an oil rig before becoming a teacher.
“I was one of over 1,000 teachers laid off across Oklahoma and I decided to advocate for my students from inside the capital instead of from outside,” he said.
According to Christian’s website, he was awarded a purple heart for injuries sustained as a state trooper.
Earlier this month, Christian posted an endorsement from Republican consultant Roger Stone.
“South Oklahoma City needs someone who will fight for them,” Stone said in a Facebook video. “Someone with guts and courage.”
According to campaign finance reports, Dollens has raised more than $40,000 compared to Christian’s more than $13,000.
“I’ve been having a lot of conversations with constituents through a glass door, through a straight screen door,” Dollens said.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way he’s campaigning.
“When my volunteers go out, they’ve just been dropping off door hangers. That’s for the safety of not only my volunteers but my constituents,” Dollens said. “We want to limit contact as much as possible.”
One of the biggest challenges facing lawmakers next session will be a $1.3 billion budget hole caused by COVID-19.
“It’s imperative that we do not cut any budgets to core services, it’s important that we look at the incentive evaluation commission that has proposed tens of millions of corporate tax credits that aren’t panning out,” Dollens said.