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No vacancy yet, but a candidate emerges

An Oklahoma immigration attorney has announced he's running for a state Senate seat that is likely to become vacant Wednesday when state Sen. Ralph Shortey resigns.

Michael Brooks-Jimenez, a Democrat, ran against Shortey in 2014 but only garnered about 42 percent of the vote. No one else has announced their intention to succeed Shortey, who is facing three felony prostitution charges after police found him in a hotel room with a 17-year-old.

Brooks-Jimenez wrote in a news release that working families in southwest Oklahoma City haven't had a voice at the Oklahoma Capitol.

"Paying our teachers a living wage, funding our schools, and creating high-paying jobs shouldn’t be partisan issues. Yet that often becomes the case, and working families are the ones who ultimately pay the price," Brooks-Jimenez wrote.

The 2014 race was cast as a decision between vastly different politicians. Shortey, a Republican, said the No. 1 problem in his southwest Oklahoma City district was immigration. Brooks-Jimenez focused on public education and infrastructure.

If and when the seat becomes vacant, Gov. Mary Fallin will call for a special election.

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Dale Denwalt

Dale Denwalt has closely followed state policy and politics since his first internship as an Oklahoma Capitol reporter in 2006. He graduated from Northeastern State University in his hometown of Tahlequah. Denwalt worked as a news reporter in... Read more ›