OKLAHOMA COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – Voters have elected a new Oklahoma County District Attorney during Tuesday’s midterm elections.
Vicki Behenna takes the place of long time DA, Dave Prater and becomes the first female district attorney in Oklahoma County.
She is also the first person to be in that position since Prater started over a decade ago.
Vicki Behenna joins the office with a lot of experience being a long-time federal prosecutor, a defense attorney and executive director of the innocence project. But this is her first go at politics.
Tuesday night she celebrated with her family and friends at Bodega 21c Museum, thanking them for supporting her when she decided to run.
“I don’t know what to say, I really don’t know what to say. There’s a part of me that wants to start crying there’s a part of me that’s so grateful that you all in Oklahoma county believes in me, and believes in the mission of justice that you made me the first female district attorney for Oklahoma county,” said Vicki Behenna, Oklahoma County District Attorney.
A tearful Vicki Behenna moments after learning she won the DA’s race. But now, it’s time to get to work.
The first thing Behenna said she’s going to do when she gets in office, is build a better relationship with the Oklahoma City Police Department.
“All the stakeholders need to have a voice. We all need to be talking to each other. It’s kind of hard to do a prosecution when you’re not talking to your law enforcement partners. So that’s the first thing on the agenda to mend those relationships and begin that communication,” said Behenna.
Another issue on the top of her agenda is overcrowding in the Oklahoma County Jail.
“That’s one of the things that’s top of the agenda, is trying to figure out what bonds we can place some people or know bonds we can have for individuals that are low level, nonviolent offenders. So those are all things that are on the table, things I’ll be looking at on day one,” said Behenna.
Behenna told News 4, while running as a democrat in a red state, the job is not about politics.
“This is not a political office. This is a working district attorney… I knew that my experience meant something. And when I was talking to voters, that’s what I was telling [them]. That it’s not a Democrat or Republican issue. It’s an experience issue,” said Behenna.
Behenna said she’s humbled by the support of so many people in Oklahoma County who believed in her vision for the DA seat.
“I’m still trying to absorb it. I’ve never run for office before, so I still feel a little bit numb right now. I’m just so grateful and so humbled that Oklahoma County believes in me and believes in my vision,” said Behenna.
Behenna beat out long time Oklahoma County Commissioner and politician Kevin Calvey for the seat.