OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – State Senator Ron Sharp says his runoff election was going to be a close race, but once EPIC sent an email to parents, days before the election, telling them to vote for his opponent, it probably ended his hopes of reelection.
“Forty-50,000 parents were receiving that email. Whether it’s in my district or not, they were contacting friends and families in my district saying don’t you dare vote for Ron Sharp,” Sharp told KFOR. “He’s going to take away our opportunity to educate our child.”
Sharp says the email that called him “dishonest” violated state statute since EPIC is a publicly-funded charter school using Oklahoma dollars to influence a political election.
He also believes the email was sent in retribution after EPIC lost a defamation lawsuit against him, and a judge ordered the school to pay Sharp $500,000. That’s why Sharp says he’s filing the complaint with the Ethics Commission.
“I was going to do that regardless of whether I won or lost. I was going to file the complaint,” Sharp said. “As to what the ethics commission does with that, that is their decision.”
KFOR contacted EPIC on Wednesday, and they declined our request for comment. EPIC did send KFOR the following statement prior to Tuesday’s election:
“Mr. Sharp claims EPIC has made calls to try to negatively influence his election, and that is simply untrue. His troubles are of his own making. We felt it necessary to set the record straight with our parents.”
Sharp told KFOR he’s content with the outcome of Tuesday’s election, but as far as his long battle with EPIC, he says it’s up to the next senator to carry the torch.
“I’m out of it. I’m no longer, as of November, a state senator, so I will be a regular citizen,” Sharp said. “That is no longer my responsibility to have that oversight; that will be the next senators who come into office.”
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