Republicans now hold lead in this county
For the first time in the history of Custer County, the Republican Party has an absolute majority of registered voters. So says Steve Millspaugh, the party’s county chairman and member of the Custer County Election Board.
Millspaugh made his announcement at Thursday night’s monthly meeting of the Custer County Republican Party. He said 51 percent of the county’s registered voters are now registered as Republicans and 32 percent as Democrats.
“When I started (in 2009) the Democrats had about 70 percent,” said Millspaugh.
In Clinton, though, he acknowledged that Democrats still have a slight edge. “We’re 22 short of being ahead of the Democrats in Clinton,” he said.
He feels his party will catch up even in Clinton by the middle of this year.
The county is divided into 13 voting precincts. Millspaugh said registered Republicans are in the majority in 11 of them. Clinton has four precincts and they’re split 2-2, he said.
County-wide, just in the last couple of months, Millspaugh said Republicans have added 250 registered voters, Independents 71, Democrats 17 and Libertarians 7.
The totals now are 8,339 registered Republicans, 5,243 Democrats, 2,659 Independents, and 59 Libertarians.
Last year, he said, Republicans gained 756 and Democrats lost 26. Independents gained 188 and Libertarians 22.
Millspaugh said his figures come from the County Election Board on which he serves and are as of Jan. 10 this year.
Clinton on that date had 1,911 registered Democrats and 1,899 Republicans.
“In the 11 other precincts it’s not even close,” said Millspaugh.
Brent Howard, the newly inaugurated state senator from District 38 which includes the Clinton and Weatherford portions of Custer County, was supposed to be the guest speaker for Thursday’s meeting. He did speak briefly and answered a few questions, but his wife Jennifer did most of the talking.
One speaker wanted to know about the bill State Rep. Todd Russ (R-Cordell) has introduced that would outlaw teacher walkouts. Supposedly strikes are already illegal in Oklahoma, but “walkouts” aren’t.
The Russ bill states, “It shall be illegal for the board of education or school district employees . . . to strike or threaten to strike or otherwise close schools or interfere with school operations as a means of resolving differences with the board of education, the State Department of Education, the Legislature or any other public official or public body.”
But it adds: “Any person engaging in a strike, shutdown or related activities shall be denied the full amount of his or her wages during the period of such violation, and if the person holds a certificate issued by the State Board of Education, such certificate shall be permanently revoked.”
Asked by attendee Rex Eagan his feeling on the proposed law, Howard replied, “The bill needs more tweaking. It needs to go against school boards not to allow that.
“You can’t restrict somebody’s right to go and peacefully assemble.”