MOUNDS, Okla. — Logan Phillips said he was inspired during the teacher walkout and signed up to run for Oklahoma's House District 24 seat on a whim.
Phillips figured he would lose, but began legwork for a campaign in 2020. His opponent was 10-year incumbent Steve Kouplan, the Democratic minority leader.
"I didn't think I had a chance going against Goliath. He could outspend me, out-market me and do pretty much anything when it came to money. So it was just me talking to people," Phillips said.
Phillips sat at Mamadou's Restaurant in Glenpool, Oklahoma by himself to watch the results come in on election night. He said even his wife went home early. But the Republican stayed neck in neck with the incumbent all evening.
"Then the polls and stuff actually went down. So they stopped reporting for about 10 minutes and we were stuck on the last four counties. I was losing within half a point. Then they all came in at the same time and I went up and won by 350 votes," Phillips said.
Phillips said he spoke with a couple other lawmakers and put a few posts on social media. That was the extent of his campaign.
"Straight party voting was huge for the Republican party. They came out and they wanted the Republicans in and I was the Republican. That accounted for 50-something percent of my votes," Phillips said.
The representative-elect is a teacher at Tulsa Community College. His father, sister and stepmother are also educators. The family tells KJRH they're excited for new faces at the state capitol.
"I'm certainly anticipating some great changes. That we could go from being the last in something to being the first in something. The first to see the dramatic change in betterment for all the people, not just the big businesses of the state," Phillips said.
The Republican will represent south of Mounds down to Okmulgee.