Tuesday’s ballot in the Oklahoma House District 48 race became a historic turning point in southern Oklahoma politics when both Cheryl Key and Tammy Townley won the Democrat and Republican primaries, respectively, meaning either would be the first woman elected to that seat in the history of the state.
Pat Ownbey has held the office since his election in 2009. Ownbey announced that he would not run for re-election for what would have been his final term as he was term limited in 2020.
As poll data began rolling in, several precincts showed the Republican candidate,  Townley, pulling ahead. At the end of the night, Townley took a commanding lead with 6,523 votes, just over 60 percent of the District 48 total.
“I am blessed beyond measure,” Townley said. “The people of District 48 have chosen me to be their representative for the next two years.”
Townley said her opponent in the race, Cheryl Key, is an amazing woman.
“I am so happy we were able to keep this campaign clean and honorable. I am so thankful we have strong leaders going forward for this area. This is the longest job interview I have ever been on — one full year. I’m very honored.”
At her watch party, Key said the Democrat party is not through.
“I don’t know necessarily if I will run again,” Key said. “But I am going to continue working to make this a two-party state. We brought democracy back to Oklahoma this past two years.”
Key thanked those who worked for her campaign, including her family.
“Mrs. Townley has our congratulations,” Key said. “Our work is not done yet.”