Oklahoma Democrats have their hands full. Republicans gained control of the state House for the first time in modern Oklahoma and they now have their eyes on the state Senate and the governor's seat.

Two Norman residents will be in charge of trying to keep that from happening and, along the way, hope to rebuild the state's Democratic party which formerly dominated Oklahoma politics at the local, state and federal levels.

Longtime Oklahoma journalist and educator Lisa Pryor was elected state chair last month. Attorney Ben Odom joins her as vice-chair. Both have run for political office and know the nuts and bolts of summer and fall campaigns. But first, Ms. Pryor says she wants to put the party back on solid political and financial ground.

"We are optimistic about the future?and we are not Pollyanna-ish by any means," Ms. Pryor told Transcript reporter James Tyree. "We are optimistic because we are right on the issues because we offer creative solutions that empower people to help themselves."

The party must take incremental steps to regain its position. It must reach out to constituencies that have become disinterested in what has become of our political system.

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