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Lucas earns another term in Congress

U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas was re-elected to represent District 3 by a landslide Tuesday night.
Lucas received 38,490 votes in Canadian County compared to 13,275 for Democrat Zoe Midyett, a small business owner in Oklahoma City.
Tuesday’s results were expected to be certified on Friday.
Lucas said he was pleased by the results, saying his constituents know him and have a relationship with him.
He has served in Congress for 17 years.
Lucas said he was surprised by Stephanie Bice’s win over incumbent Kendra Horn for District 5, saying it’s uncommon for incumbents to lose.
The race was very close, with Bice securing 158,044 votes and Horn gaining 145,541.
When asked if he’s hopeful President Donald Trump will be re-elected, Lucas said he’s fond of Trump’s secretaries of treasury and agriculture, as well as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
“I’d like for all those people to stay in place, so that means Donald Trump needs to prevail,” Lucas said.
He also said if the nation were to use voting procedures that Oklahoma has adopted, Americans would have known who would be the 46th president before Tuesday night ended.
“Not every state is as efficient and effective as Oklahoma and that’s just unfortunate,” Lucas said.
Regarding the rejection of both state questions, Lucas said Oklahomans may have entered a more cynical time.
State Question 805 aimed to change prison sentences for nonviolent offenders, and SQ 814 wanted to take money from the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust to put toward Medicaid expansion.
“In a cynical time, voters chose not to allow either change to be made and, of course, that’s their right,” Lucas said.
The congressman voted no on both proposals.
Lucas has been an advocate for more CARES Act funding.
More than 40 health care facilities received CARES funding in Yukon.
Some nursing homes and retirement communities received the most funding, including LovingCare In-Home Health Services, which received $434,360, and Spanish Cove Retirement Community, which received $215,418.
Yukon health care facilities received more than $1.7 million in provider relief funds.
Lucas said health complexes will continue to receive federal funding for personal protective equipment until a vaccine is available.
In Lucas’s last meeting with the health and human services secretary, he said three vaccines, at most, will be certified and available in “three days, three weeks, heaven forbid three months.”.
The federal government does not have control over pushing out the vaccines. That is controlled by an independent group, which will make the announcement when a safe vaccine is determined.
There are also about 160 other formulations being worked on across the nation and worldwide, he said.
“I know there’s some hesitation out there amongst folks, but understand, the vaccine safety verificationprogram has not been rushed,” Lucas said. “I know sometimes the president has perhaps embellished about pushing it out quicker.”
The larger test groups generate the statistical information faster, he said.
Lucas said each state has also submitted a plan on who will get the vaccine first.
As the election process clears, Lucas said he is hopeful Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and whoever is president will come to an agreement on how much money in CARES funds will additionally go to the states.
In the past few months, Pelosi has wanted to spend about $3 trillion more, while Trump wanted somewhere between $500 billion and $1 trillion, and use remaining COVID-19 relief funds.
The House and Senate will return Nov. 16. If everything works out, a decision could be determined by Dec. 1, he said.
Regarding the state’s recent ice storm, Lucas said many rural cities do not have underground powerlines and that significantly affects outages when natural disasters occur.
To improve rural electric infrastructure, CKenergy Electric Cooperative, which is located in Binger, will use a $69 million federal loan to connect 1,480 consumers and to build and improve 1,276 miles of line.
This loan includes $5,735,046 in smart grid technologies, which enhance various components of power networks by being able to predict and respond to areas of demand.
CKenergy serves approximately 26,000 members through 7,799 miles of line in 10 counties in western and west-central Oklahoma, which includes customers in Canadian County.

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