Transgender Candidate Could Mean Historic Oklahoma House Race

Saturday, August 23rd 2014, 8:06 pm
By: News 9

The weekend campaign push is on before Tuesday's runoff election and there are several key races across the state, including one that could prove historic with a transgender candidate.

Last leg or home stretch – whatever you want to call it – politicians are giving one final push for votes on Tuesday; especially here in District 88, with no republican, this runoff will give one of two democrats the seat.

“This is our November,” said Jason Dunnington, one Democratic candidate for House District 88.

Despite the heat in these dog days of summer, dogging it is the last thing opponents Jason Dunnington and Paula Sophia want to do.

"My son just last night said, dad there's only two days to go," Dunnington said.

"It's crunch time and we're pushing to win it," said Paula Sophia, one Democratic candidate for House District 88.

Door hangers, handshakes and signatures all out for that final push; both looking to become the next representative of House District 88, an area near the heart of Oklahoma City involving the Paseo and Plaza districts.

"I worked here, lived here and moved here because of the diversity," Sophia said.

"There's a lot of really great things going on,” Dunnington said.

Dunnington – an Oklahoma City University professor – said, "I feel like that education in Oklahoma for a number of years has been going in the wrong direction."

Sophia, a retired OKC cop of 22 years, said, "I got out of my car, I made sure I got to know the business owners and the residents."

Whoever wins this race wins the seat.

But if Paula Sophia wins, it'll be U.S. history, becoming the first transgender legislator to take office. It's something that both candidates say isn't much of a factor and their focus remains on the concerns of the constituents.

"Strengthening the education in Oklahoma, protecting the arts and finding a way to continue to find job growth and economic opportunity,"  Dunnington said.

"Criminal justice reform, living wage and education are the top things I've heard over and over again while campaigning," Sophia said.

One united concern is for sure get out the vote. Once again voting is Tuesday, Aug. 26.