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January 19, 2014

Republicans think special primary may pump up their numbers

DUNCAN — Republicans not only fell well short of catching the Democrats, but registered voters in both major political parties show a decrease from last year, according to the 2014 voter registration report.

Even so, the sudden retirement of U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, will spark an upsurge in Republican voters who will want to have a say in picking Coburn’s successor,  a leading  Republican from Duncan said on Saturday.

Steve Fair, a Republican Committeeman, said he was disappointed and surpised the party didn’t surpass Democrats when the state election board released its 2014 report on statewide party preference. He predicted they would.

 Still, he’s sees a silver lining in the news of Coburn’s unexpected early retirement.

 “I think with the Coburn Senate seat primary we will see a lot of conservative Democrats change party affiliation to vote in that Republican primary,  so by midyear we should be the party of plurality,” Fair said.

  “2014 will be a banner year for Republicans in Oklahoma. From the courthouse to the Statehouse we will have record numbers of Republicans elected. That's my prediction.”

He said the latest statistics show Republicans voters are on   increase across the state while Democrats are losing some of their strength, though Democrats remain the largest political party.

“The two parties are nearing parity,” Ziriax said. “You could plot it on a graph,” said Paul Paul Ziriax, secretary to the Oklahoma State Election Board.

In Stephens County, registered Democrats lead Republicans 12,328 to 9,997.

Statewide, Democrats number 885,609 to the Republicans’ 854,329.

Independent voters, who express no political party preference,  now total 2,390 in the county.

All of those numbers are lower than last year’s.

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