More than two dozen former educators headed to public office following elections

OKLAHOMA CITY - Ahead of Tuesday night's election, there were nine former educators in state offices. Now, there are 25 that will be representing Oklahoma in the next legislative session.

You've seen the signs in yards for months, and now senator-elect Carri Hicks is seeing another sign --one for change.

"I think being able to have that voice inside our Legislature, you know we'll really be able to speak the truth to long-term solutions that we know haven't been addressed,” Senator-Elect for District 40 Carri Hicks said.

Hicks is one of 16 candidates in the education caucus elected to a state office Nov. 6.

Oklahoma Education Association President Alicia Priest says these numbers show something unique to the state.

"We had the most won by percentage of open legislative spots of any state in the nation," Priest said.

"I think people agreed that we had some work to do in particular, but they weren't able to articulate the needs and so really bringing all of that to light through that nine-day walkout, I think really helped people finally understand what educators have been warning against for so long,” Hicks said.

When the teacher pay raise passed earlier this year, not all lawmakers were on board.

Out of the 29 legislators who voted against it, 19 won't be back at the Capitol next session. Officials say nine of those lost their elections, and Priest thinks their defeat directly correlates with their vote on the pay raise bill.

"Everywhere that we went and knocked doors for our candidates, education was the number one issue, so I know education was one of the reasons those folks were ousted in the primaries and the runoffs," she said.

And while Kevin Stitt ran as an outsider, Hicks is ready to work as an insider for education.

"I think being able to have that voice inside our Legislature, you know we'll really be able to speak the truth to long-term solutions that we know haven't been addressed,” Hicks said.

There were more than 100 educators that filed for office this year.

OEA'S president said she's looking forward to working with Governor-elect Kevin Stitt.