Swope in for the win: Rep.-elect (D) Swope, Councilor (D) Decter Wright, Rep. Provenzano

TULSA, Okla. — Nov. 9 was a huge night for Amanda Swope. The Democrat and Tulsa native was elected Tuesday night to represent District 71.

Swope drew in about 60 percent of the vote.

“I will say that I did not expect to maybe win by the percentage that I did, and I did not expect to win every single precinct. So that felt really, really good to see the win be that monumental, I think,” said Swope.

Born and raised in Tulsa, Swope graduated from Nathan Hale High School in the year 2006.

“I’m very local,” she said. “You know, I was a public school kid through and through. I really attribute everything I was able to become as a person to having access to education and assistance with education.”

After Swope earned a degree in psychology at Northeastern State University, she went on to get a master’s in public policy at The University of Oklahoma.

Swope started in politics as a volunteer in 2011. In 2018, she began working for the Muscogee Nation and in 2021, became the tribal juvenile justice director for the Tribe. She was voted in as the youngest and first indigenous chair of the Tulsa County Democratic Party, in 2019 where she served for three years.

Then, she stepped down to run for the Home District 71 seat. Swope bought her first home in District 71 and described it as “very community-based and so I think that that’s something that’s always really inspired me about this area.”

Swope shared that even a Republican voter emailed her and said that he voted for her.

Decked out in a Royal Blue suit, Swope expressed her gratitude in her acceptance speech on Tuesday night.

“Thank you for putting your faith in me, and I am so excited to fight for our district,” she said.

Oklahoma Republicans won several of the big races in the midterm election, but Democrats saw victories in more local offices.

City Councilor Lori Decter Wright (D) won the run-off for District 7, Rep. Melissa Provenzano (D) was reelected for Oklahoma House District 79, and Rep.-elect (D) Suzanne Schreiber, who was voted House District 70. Laura Bellis (D) was elected to Tulsa City Council for District 4 earlier this year.

Decter Wright has been working in the Tulsa City Council for four years.

“I am eternally grateful to my family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues for their continued encouragement and support — my public service is not possible without them. Tuesday’s election results across Tulsa give me renewed hope for the City’s future — for more collaboration and consensus building, increased unity and prosperity, as well as building a more just and equitable place we can all be proud to call home,” said Decter Wright.

Provenzano is grateful to be returning to the state capitol for two more years.

“We’ve accomplished some great things so far: the streamlining of teacher training, full coverage for diagnostic mammograms, and building in protections that make it harder for lenders to take advantage of student loan borrowers,” said Provenzano.

She continued, “In this next session, I’ll be focusing on improving public education policy for our schools, families, and children, as well as constituent issues, including nursing licensure, streamlining driver’s license processes and helping amplify the support supports for our STEM training and careers.”

Swope said one of her focuses will be schools.

“Obviously, education is going to be a very, very big topic of conversation going forward, and that’s a huge priority for me,” said Swope. “I think raising the standard of the government itself and the people that are elected to represent Oklahomans and the job that they do and the agencies that they help operate is something that I really want to see happen. I think that people are very tired of seeing a government that does not work for them.”

Swope said she knows that Democrats have a hard and steep road ahead.

“I know that last night felt really discouraging for some people. And I know especially, somebody my age, and hearing a lot of young people are just continuing to wonder why they engage in politics here. Why do they continue to stay here?” said Swope.

She continued, “But, I will say that there’s a lot of work that needs to be done, by just really encouraging people not to give up on this process. Not to give up on Oklahoma. You know, things here take a long time to change. They really do. But that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. It just means that it’ll take some time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Oklahoma won’t be blue again in a day.”