The District 25 seat in the Oklahoma House will remain in Republican hands for the next two years.
Ada Junior High Principal Ronny Johns captured the seat in Tuesday’s general election, according to unofficial results from the Oklahoma State Board of Election. Johns will replace outgoing Rep. Todd Thomsen, an Ada Republican who is stepping down this year due to term limits.
Johns defeated his Democratic opponent, Ada firefighter Daniel Manuel, 49.3 percent to 45.87 percent. Independent candidate Gary Rhynes finished a distant third, picking up 4.83 percent of the vote.
Johns, who tracked the election results from home, said he was eager to start his first term in the Legislature.
“It’s a humbling feeling, but I’m excited,” he said. “I’m excited to work for the county. It’s something I’m looking forward to doing. I think we can do some good things if we all work together for that.”
For his part, Manuel said he was stunned by the outcome of the race.
“I was very surprised and disappointed, considering the amount of hard work that we put in and the duration that we put that hard work in, and the doors that we knocked and the contacts that we made and the people that we had good conversations with throughout this campaign,” he said.
Manuel, who said he was proud of his campaign and thankful for the volunteers who assisted him, also congratulated Johns on his victory.
Rhynes said he had thought he would attract more votes, and he was disappointed on behalf of his supporters.
“I had lots of good people working with me, and I appreciate every one of them,” he said. “I’m just so thankful to be a part of this community. We’ll see how things progress in the future, but right now I’m just really happy for Ronny.”