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Teacher rings bell as new House District 46 representative

Olivier Rey / Red Dirt Report
Newly-elected state legislator Jacob Rosecrants.
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NORMAN, Okla.- School is about to be in session at the state legislature.  Democrat Jacob Rosecrants won 60 percent of the vote in the September 12 special election for House District 46 over Darin Chambers (R). Rosecrants highlighted his experience as an educator throughout the campaign. 

Rosecrants said his win was bittersweet because it means he has to quit his job as a teacher.

“I would love to just teach and be a father in a state that protects our interests, but that is not happening,” he said.

Rosecrants said in 2012 he started noticing that public schools, and the profession of teaching as a whole started losing credibility.  He became an advocate at the legislature against such things as vouchers for private schools and felt largely ignored.  He ran unsuccessfully against Republican incumbent Scott Martin in the 2016 election for the seat he just won last week.  Martin, who would have reached his term limit in 2018, resigned to become the executive director for the Norman Chamber of Commerce. 

The first priority Rosecrants said he had was to “get a teacher in office” in order to “get the respect back in the public schools” and protect other core services of the state that benefit families, such as ones run by the Department of Human Services. 

In his words, “All the things that are being ignored. I will be a warrior for things like that.”

He said he plans to bring to the House of Representatives the same coalition building skills that got him elected.

“I want to see if we can get some common sense running through the state legislature,” he said.

Rosecrants said he went door to door to talk with people about his goals for representing them at the legislature.  He said most citizen’s most pressing issue was education.

“I went door to door.  I knew if I could get myself to the people I would have a chance.  It [public education] was issue #1, #2, and #3.  It didn’t matter if they were Democrat, Republican, or Independent, education is the issue,” he said.  “My constituents are the ones who control my vote….not my party……not special interests.”

Rosecrants said he thinks the Trump presidency has mobilized Democrats everywhere, citing that multiple volunteers for his campaign came from outside his district, as far away as Broken Arrow, to help him get elected because they are hungry for change.  The last time a Democrat sat in the District 46 seat was 1995, and three seat were flipped to blue in this special election.

Rosecrants is confident in his ability to make a difference in Oklahoma’s hallowed halls.

“If I can teach 40 seventh graders in a class, I am pretty sure I can handle myself on the floor,” he said.

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Penny Ridenour

Penny Ridenour is a transplant Oklahoman of almost 20 years with enough red dirt under her...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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