Russell beats Loveless in Senate runoff

By Carolyn Cole
Published on August 28, 2008

Steve Russell called increasing the state income tax credit related to children one of his top priorities when he joins lawmakers in the Oklahoma Senate this February.

Russell won 67 percent of voters’ approval in Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff election to take the state Senate seat 45 seat, which is held by Kathleen Wilcoxson, who could not seek re-election due to term limits. The district includes most of the Mustang area, east of Mustang Road and south of Interstate 40, in addition to sections of Oklahoma and Cleveland counties.

“It’s very humbling,” Russell said. “It sure feels good to get that kind of a vote of confidence from the people in the district.”

Russell received 2,767 votes, while candidate Kyle Loveless receive 1,360. Voters in the seven precincts inside Canadian County also supported Russell, with 778, or 64 percent, casting their votes for the candidate. Loveless received 436 votes in Canadian County.

Russell, 45, served 25 years in the Army, including deployments in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, and retired as a lieutenant colonel. Upon his return, Russell started “Vets for Victory” and tours as a speaker. He will speak next week at a regional event connected to the Republican National Convention.

Russell said the strength of his campaign is defending families and values.

“When we take care of our families, they are going to produce,” he said. “They are going to stay together.”

Russell said he is also concerned about lowering property taxes as well as finding funding for local law enforcement agencies so officers can enforce laws relating to combating illegal immigration.

“I don’t think it ought to be a trade off,” he said. “If we are going to provide these new laws, we need to make sure we properly resource it.”
As for his opponent, Loveless said he was disappointed but wouldn’t rule out a future run for political office.

“I’m anxiously waiting (the birth) of my first baby; my business is thriving,” he said. “I was born and raised in the district, I’m gong to stay here — my family is here. I’m looking to the future.”

Loveless, 34, manages his family’s business, Loveless Shoes, and owns a consulting business.
“It is disappointing to lose, no doubt about it,” Loveless said. “Steve will be a good senator and will represent District 45 well.”


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