Bridenstine's Upset Tops 2012 Local Political News

Dec 30, 2012

Congressman Elect Jim Bridenstien
Credit File photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A political newcomer buoyed by tea party enthusiasm knocked off a five-term incumbent congressman from Tulsa in Oklahoma's top political story of 2012.

In a hard-fought Republican primary, 37-year-old Navy pilot Jim Bridenstine captured 54 percent of the vote over U.S. Representative John Sullivan in the June primary and then coasted to a general election victory in November.

Republicans also captured a congressional seat that had been held by Democrats and now control all of state government, both U.S. Senate seats and all five U.S. House seats for the first time ever.

Despite those advantages, Republican lawmakers couldn't reach an agreement on Governor Mary Fallin's ambitious proposal to slash the state's income tax, and a deal fell apart in the waning days of the 2012 session.