OKLAHOMA CITY – There will probably be more candidates on your ballot the next time you head to a polling place for a state election.
Data from the Oklahoma State Election Board indicates that 794 people have filed for state office this year.
According to the Oklahoma State Election Board, this is the most amount of people to file for office since at least 2000.
The candidate listing is as follows:
- 40 for U.S. Representative
- 15 for Governor
- 7 for Lieutenant Governor
- 4 for State Auditor and Inspector
- 4 for Attorney General
- 2 for State Treasurer
- 5 for Superintendent of Public Instruction
- 6 for Commissioner of Labor
- 3 for Insurance Commissioner
- 8 for Corporation Commissioner
- 108 for District Judge
- 90 for Associate District Judge
- 40 for District Attorney
- 80 for State Senator
- 382 for State Representative.
Many attribute the increase to the teacher walkout that took place earlier this month.
Some candidates are currently teachers, while others say they are simply fed up with how things are going at the Capitol.
"I’m a foster mom and the daughter and granddaughter of educators and the sister of an educator here in Oklahoma, and I think it’s abysmal the way that we have failed to fund our state services," Carly Hotvedt said. "I know that I can do better. My background is in government and the law. I’m very motivated, and I want to see the state succeed."
Although many of the people who filed to run were newcomers, there are still some familiar faces seeking re-election.
"It’s still nerve-wracking every time you put your name on the ballot. It’s always a nerve-wracking experience," said Rep. Collin Walke, D-Oklahoma City.
Walke, who was elected in 2016, told News 4 the state has seen improvement in funding and pay raises, but the fight for more wasn't over.
Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond, who was also elected in 2016, said he made the decision to seek re-election with more knowledge on the legislative process.
"The process is a lot more complicated than it would look to an outsider. I mean, a lot of times you have all these great ideas. You realize somebody’s already had that idea in the past and there’s a reason why it didn’t come to fruition," said Rep. Martinez.