Oklahoma House District 71 voters go to polls Tuesday

Five Republicans and two Democrats are on the ballot for Tuesday’s state House District 71 special election primary, with the top vote getters in each party meeting in an April 3 general election.

District 71 includes Tulsa’s Brookside area and runs from 21st Street to 81st Street between Lewis Avenue and the Arkansas River.

The Republican candidates:

Lydia D’Ross, 48, is a community activist with strong ties to the evangelical Christian and Hispanic communities. She formerly worked in child welfare.

D’Ross and her husband, Jay D’Ross, are state directors of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. Lydia D’Ross holds a bachelor’s degree from Ottawa University and a master’s degree from Regents University.

D’Ross’ website is lydiadross.net

Katie Henke, 31, is a preschool teacher at Riverfield. She previously taught special-needs children at Little Light House.

Henke comes from a long line of Republican activists. Her grandfather John Rooney was a close associate of former mayors Jim Hewgley Jr. and Robert LaFortune as well as the late Dewey Bartlett Sr.

Henke’s husband, Frazier Henke, is active in the local Republican Party.

Henke holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama. Her website is katiehenke.com

Bonnie Huffines, 60, is active in the Brookside Neighborhood Association and Victory Christian Center. A former child-care center operator, Huffines stresses Christian fundamentals as the foundation of good government.

Huffines holds a bachelor’s degree from Northern (N.D.) State University and has been married to her husband, John Huffines, for 26 years.

Huffines’ website is bonniehuffines.com

Gerald Lovoi, 51, is a general practice attorney who has campaigned on the promise of getting Tulsa a larger share of the state budget. He previously ran unsuccessfully for the City Council.

Lovoi has no campaign website but does have one for his law firm: geraldlovoiattorney.com

Evelyn Rogers, 59, is a Tulsa Community College librarian who has previously run for several offices, including U.S. Senate.

Rogers said last month that an injury has hampered her campaigning, but she does have a campaign website: evelyn-rogers.com

The Democratic candidates:

Dan Arthrell, 65, is vice president of public policy and intergovernmental relations at the Community Service Council, a nonprofit organization that provides research and support to a variety of health and human services operations. Arthrell has been with the council for 33 years.

His website is Arthrellfor71.com

Robert Walpole, 57, is an attorney who has attacked Republican plans to lower the state income tax rate. He was an unsuccessful candidate for House District 71 in 1994.

Walpole does not have a campaign website.

Three other legislative special elections are on the Feb. 14 ballot: House District 1 in the state’s southeastern corner, Senate District 20 in north-central Oklahoma and Senate District 46 in central Oklahoma City.
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