Rep. Chad Caldwell

Rep. Chad Caldwell

ENID, Okla. — Incumbent state Rep. Chad Caldwell won reelection Tuesday night, defeating challenger Taylor Venus by a margin of 57-43% in the District 40 primary.

There were no Democrats filed for the election, so the primary win clinches another term for Caldwell.

Venus garnered 1,848 votes to Caldwell's 2,412 in the contest. Venus also ran unsuccessfully against Caldwell in 2018, with similar results — about 47-53% in that race.

"Obviously it's disappointing," Venus said. "I wanted to instill proper representation and conservatism in a way that could transform the next generation for the betterment of Enid and Oklahoma, but if the people of House District 40 would like to maintain the status quo, then that is their decision.

"I want what's best for us," Venus said. "It seems like in Oklahoma we keep doing the same thing over and over again, and it keeps hurting us in the state, and that's about to hurt us again on (State Question) 802, because we didn't do what we needed to as a state to fix health care."

Venus said he's uncertain what his political future will be, but he will continue serving the community "because that's the belief I've always had."

"That's what I want to do, it's what I enjoy doing and it's what I think you should do, is give back your time," Venus said. "I am not sure what that will entail in the future. That's up to what God has for me."

Caldwell said he was honored to be sent back to the Capitol for another term.

"Obviously, I am very excited and I just appreciate all the support from the people of Enid," Caldwell said. "We've been very blessed. They've been very kind to my family. I am very honored and blessed to have their support, and I am looking forward to going back for another two years."

Caldwell attributed the success of his campaign to the efforts of his volunteers and his support in the community.

"We ran a really good campaign, and we worked really hard," Caldwell said. "I thank the people of Enid. This is my fourth time on the ballot, and I think this shows I have their trust, they feel I will do a good job representing them, and I will work hard doing that."

Caldwell thanked Venus for putting in the effort and having the willingness to run a good campaign.

"I appreciate his willingness to serve," Caldwell said of Venus. "I know it's not easy to run and campaign. We've now run a couple of times against each other, and I appreciate his willingness to put himself out there and serve."

Looking forward to his new term, Caldwell said it will be two years of challenges as Oklahoma comes back from the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact.

"I think there's going to be plenty of challenges with the economy, and with everything going on with the pandemic," Caldwell said, "so we have our work cut out for us, but we have a great team down there and I am looking forward to working with Gov. (Kevin) Stitt."

Caldwell was first elected in 2014, and if he continues to win reelection he will be term limited in 2026.

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Neal is health, military affairs and religion reporter and columnist for the Enid News & Eagle. Follow him on Twitter, @jamesnealwriter, and online at jamesrneal.com.
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