July 26, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Oklahoma - 3rd District

Incumbent -- Frank D. Lucas (R) ; Running for re-election

Safe Republican
Race Ratings Key
 

CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.

 

District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

Nothing stops the constant wind that forces its way across the 3rd's flat plains in western and north-central Oklahoma, an area that was devastated by the Dust Bowl in the 1930s. Few areas have suffered the vacillations of the oil industry more than the 3rd, and oil busts chased residents away over the years. Skyrocketing oil prices this decade made the small drilling operations across the district profitable.

Demand for domestic petroleum had revived oil exploration and industry demand for workers, but economic slowdowns have stalled growth recently. High-paying jobs and royalties for landowners who allow drilling have boosted the economy. Renewable-energy interests, such as grains for biofuel processing and wind farms, are also important.

The 3rd also depends on crops and livestock, and the district, the state's largest, leads Oklahoma in hogs, cattle, wheat, sorghum and sunflower seeds. Economic stability has kept unemployment rates low in the sparsely populated panhandle counties. In central Oklahoma, always thriving Stillwater, home to Oklahoma State University, brings droves to Boone Pickens Stadium to watch Big 12 football.

Bible Belt conservatism typifies the eastern plains areas north and west of Oklahoma City, while the southern part of the district is home to conservative Democrats who support Democrats for state office. Cimarron, Texas and Beaver counties on the panhandle are some of the most heavily Republican-voting counties in the state, and John McCain topped 85 percent in each of these counties in the 2008 presidential election. Overall, the 3rd gave McCain 73 percent of its vote, his highest percentage statewide, and the 16 counties that gave McCain his highest percentage margins in the state are wholly in the 3rd.

Major Industry

Oil, agriculture, military, higher education

Military Bases

Altus Air Force Base, 1,408 military, 1,267 civilian (2009); Vance Air Force Base, 1,233 military, 215 civilian (2011)

Cities

Enid, 49,379; Stillwater, 45,688; Ponca City, 25,387

Notable

Roger Mills County, on the western border, was named in 1892 by referendum in honor of then-U.S. Rep. Roger Q. Mills from Texas.

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