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Two politicians announce plans to run for Ralph Shortey’s state Senate seat

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Oklahoma State Capitol

OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma attorney and a former press secretary have announced their plans to run for Oklahoma’s 44th State Senate seat, which became available when Sen. Ralph Shortey resigned.

Michael Brooks-Jimenez, a Democrat, announced his plans Tuesday afternoon.

“I’m proud to announce I’m running for State Senate District 44,” Brooks-Jimenez said. “Working families, senior citizens, and teachers in southwest Oklahoma City have gone without a voice at the capitol for far too long. It’s time for someone to step up and restore the trust of voters and bring integrity back to the office.”

“We deserve honest, faithful leadership that will work across the aisle to improve the lives of everyday Oklahomans,” Brooks-Jimenez continued. “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 ran against Senator Shortey in 2014, but lost after only receiving 42 percent of the vote.

On Thursday, Republican Joe Griffin announced that he would be running for the seat.

Griffin previously served as press secretary for two Republican Speakers of the House.

“We need a business environment that promotes work, savings and investment.  For too long, economic growth has been limited in our state by unreasonable regulation and government red tape, abusive lawsuits and high taxes.  I will be a voice for the job creators and working men and women of Senate District 44,” Griffin said.

Shortey resigned from the Senate on Wednesday afternoon.

He is facing three felony charges, including engaging in child prostitution, engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church and transporting a minor for prostitution.

On Monday, the United States Secret Service told NewsChannel 4 that a special financial and cyber crimes task force is assisting Moore police in its investigation into Shortey.