It has often been noted there are 250,000 citizens outside Tulsa in northeastern Oklahoma in the triangle-shaped area bounded by Highway 75 on the west and Highway 412 on the south.

This population, which equals one-half that of Tulsa County, has not received adequate attention from statewide elected officials either at the state or federal level.

For example, for years this part of the state had no veterans center, no state supported university, was left out in important road projects and seldom received attention other than during election years from those wanting to run for statewide office.

That may, however, be about to change. Recent election data shows that Rogers County alone is now the 5th largest county in terms of votes cast in a general election. This means that Rogers County casts more votes than Comanche County with Lawton, Garfield County with Enid, and Muskogee County. In the past, those counties were often considered the important ones outside of Tulsa and Oklahoma counties. But no more.

While politicians may sometimes be immune to population figures, you can bet they and their consultants will not ignore actual vote totals.

Rogers County is now the cornerstone of the rural northeast with two important museums, the only publicly supported University, a state Veterans Center, and a federally supported Indian Hospital. Any politician who simply strip mines Rogers County and its sister counties in the rural northeast for votes will do so at his or her own peril.

It may finally be that the rural northeast gets the attention it deserves.

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