“This is about making history.” The words of a Muslim business owner in Michigan just before a runoff election in which three Muslims would occupy the ballot.
The document before you is a simple guide with information on candidates and their stances in six areas of interest to Oklahoma’s Muslim community. When you go to the polls on August 28th we want you to be able to make an educated decision. But this is not just about one election. This is about engagement. This is about making history.
Every election year we get to choose tomorrow’s history. We get to decide who will shape the laws that will define our future and that of our children and grandchildren. It is imperative that we are informed at the polls and consistent in showing up. We must set an example for future generations. We must tell them and show them their voice matters, that they cannot be silenced unless they do not show up.
In short, this may just be a simple guide, but what you do on August 28th and November 6th is powerful and our mission at CAIR-OK is to empower you in your lifelong journey of engagement and advocacy.
NOTE: Only districts in which there is a masjid and the districts directly surrounding are included in this guide. Some candidates did not answer our survey, however, in some cases CAIR Oklahoma was able to find quotes in which the candidate discussed topic areas from additional sources. These quotes are included in this guide
To view a sample ballot click here https://www.ok.gov/elections/Voter_Info/Online_Voter_Tool/ then click on the View Sample Ballot option. Type in your name and birthdate. This will pull up your polling place as well as a pdf version of a sample ballot for your district.
- What is your stance on immigration- What are your views on immigration and what role do you see immigrants playing in Oklahoma?
- Stance on Oklahoma’s budget- should we pass more revenue raising measures and if so, where and what services and infrastructures would you prioritize funding first?
- If elected, how would you serve the Muslim and interfaith community? How would you increase civic engagement in minority communities that feel routinely ignored or harassed?
- School bullying/harassment – with the increase in harassment and anti-Muslim bullying in public schools, how would you strengthen the protections available to minority students and their families?
- Hate crimes –What would you do to strengthen or change Oklahoma’s treatment of bias-motivated crime?
- Education –What would you do to improve the status of Oklahoma’s public education system?
Table of Contents – Candidates and Responses
- Senate District 30
- Senate District 36
- House District 68
- House District 71
- House District 79
- House District 80
- House District 82
- House District 99
- House District 100
Mick Cornet (R)
Mick Cornett is a Republican candidate for Governor of Oklahoma and the former Mayor of Oklahoma City.
The son of a postal worker and a school teacher, Mick is a 5thgeneration Oklahoman who rose from humble roots to become the most successful Republican mayor in the country.
Mick received many accolades during his 14 years as Oklahoma City Mayor, but he is most proud of his work in the continued revitalization and renaissance of Oklahoma City, including the creation of more than 100,000 new jobs and 10,000 new businesses, maintaining one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, diversifying the local economy, and welcoming the NBA to town.
His conservative leadership as mayor led the city to 14-straight, on-time balanced budgets, a 15% rainy day fund and the highest bond rating available.
During his tenure, the city invested nearly $2 billion in schools and infrastructure dedicated to improving the city’s quality of life. That investment generated nearly $6 billion in local, private sector investment. The city has also consistently maintained one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.
He is a graduate of Putnam City High School, The University of Oklahoma and also holds an MBA from New York University. Before seeking elected office, he had a successful, 20-year career in broadcast journalism, where he served as a reporter, anchor and manager. Afterward, he was elected to City Council and finally as the Mayor of Oklahoma City.
Immigration: It’s important to continue to welcome Muslim immigrants as residents to the U.S.to reaffirm the freedom of religion and right to live without fear or intimidation. Source: http://www.news9.com/story/34385870/cornett-conference-ofmayors-offer-support-for-refugees-and-immigrants
Budget: While the state budget process remains a mess, Mick knows budgeting is about priorities and leadership. Mick has played a key role in developing Oklahoma City’s annual budget transparently based on the consensus needs of the community. For years Oklahoma City has received the highest possible credit rating and keeps a rainy day fund equal to 15% of the annual budget. All MAPS projects were completed debt free with complete accountability to the taxpayer.
Interfaith: No Answer.
Bullying: No Answer.
Hate Crimes: “I just think discrimination is wrong and to a certain extent this has to do with the image of the city. Are we a city that’s accepting, a city that’s openminded? I believe we are.” Source: http://kfor.com/2016/01/05/oklahoma-city-forbids-lgbtdiscrimination-in-housing/
Education: Mick’s mother was a teacher and he understands the importance education plays in growing our economy, promoting a stronger workforce and creating better jobs that keep our kids and grand kids here. Mick believes teachers deserve a raise. He would like to see salaries increased to the regional average with competitive pay increases for STEM teachers.With advances in technology, education is a lifelong endeavor. Mick wants to raise the expectations for education in our state and create a culture that empowers families and individuals—regardless of age or income— to seek the best educational outcomes.
Kevin Stitt (R)
Kevin Stitt is a conservative Republican candidate for governor who is running to end politics as usual at the State Capitol and to lead Oklahoma with a vision to be Top Ten in growth, education, infrastructure, healthcare, and government efficiency.
Stitt is an Oklahoman entrepreneur and businessman who founded Gateway Mortgage in 2000 with $1,000 and a computer. By delivering strong leadership and vision, Stitt has grown Gateway into a nationwide mortgage company that today employs 1,200 people, has 164 field offices in 41 states, and holds a loan servicing portfolio of more than $16 billion. Stitt is promising to bring his proven business experience to state government where he will put Oklahoma’s checkbook online, apply performance metrics, and audit every state agency.
Stitt is a fourth-generation Oklahoman, raised in Norman where his dad was a pastor and spent many summers as a youth in Skiatook where his grandfather owned a dairy farm. Stitt graduated from Norman High School and worked his way through Oklahoma State University by selling books with the Southwestern Company. Stitt is a man driven by faith and family. He has been married to his wife, Sarah, for nearly 20 years and together they have six children and live in Tulsa.
Immigration: No Answer.
Budget: In 2016, Oklahoma had -3% GDP growth. In 2017, our state faced a $900 million budget deficit. Too many of our children and grandchildren are leaving the state for better opportunities. I refuse to sit back and let this continue. As governor, I will be committed to growth and prosperity for our entire state.” Plan: We going to do this by Capitalizing on President Trump’s tax cuts that are leveling the playing field for America to compete in the global market place, recruiting new business to Oklahoma, and cutting unnecessary red tape and remove wasteful licensing fees for job creators in Oklahoma.
Interfaith: No Answer.
Bullying: No Answer.
Hate Crimes: No Answer.
Education: Raise teacher pay so that it matches the pay of teachers in our six-state footprint, Require line item budgeting for the Education Department, Review ways to empower local communities to best fund the needs of their local schools. Expand the use of video technology to deliver AP classes across our state, Recruit, train and retain great teachers.
Chris Powell (L)
With roots on all sides going back before statehood, my kinfolk have lived in communities from Woodward to Idabel, from Grove to Frederick,and innumerable places in between. In addition to my political activities I am an avid genealogist. I am proud of being an Oklahoman, a place that has served as a crossroads of history and culture for the nation, and celebrate our state’s deep and rich heritage.
I grew up in Choctaw as the youngest of five children. My father was a truck driver and my mother a bookkeeper. They taught us the value of family, hard work, and self-sufficiency, such as by keeping a large vegetable garden that we all helped tend. My wife, raised by her grandfather, Rev. John Gable, after her mother passed away, lived in many communities across rural Oklahoma before Grandpa Gable became pastor at Nicoma Park United Methodist Church. We met at the parsonage in 1992, just months after I returned from the first Gulf War. Amy and I married in 1994.
We moved to Bethany in 1996, a vibrant and diverse community that we enjoy and a place where we have grown our family through births, hosting a foreign exchange student, becoming a foster home, and by adoption. We have pursued career and educational goals and been active in political and civic affairs. The Powells have faced the kinds of issues that most Oklahoma families deal with every day but from which members of the political establishment are often insulated. Among the reasons that I am running for governor is to shine the light of the realities of everyday Oklahoma life into the often inaccessible world of politics.
In my experiences with education, military service, and both private and public sector employment, I learned firsthand how government fails to prioritize the rights of the people that it is intended to serve. Since joining the Libertarian Party in 2000 I have worked to limit the power of politics and thereby increase individual freedom. Please join our campaign so that we may work together to increase liberty and prosperity for all Oklahomans.
Immigration: Oklahoma is not a border state and immigration is primarily a federal issue, meaning that the Governor has a limited amount of influence on immigration policy. However, we do have several vibrant immigrant communities in Oklahoma that make significant contributions, economically and culturally, to our state. As a Libertarian, I am committed to recognizing the inherent human rights of all people, equality before the law, and a federalist limited government approach. That last part refers to separation of powers and checks and balances in our system of government, with the idea that states are not intended to merely be lackeys of the national government but instead have their own priorities and prerogatives. In regard to the question of immigration the key practical point is that as Governor I oppose allowing our state and local agencies and resources to be co-opted to serve policy goals of the federal government. Our state and local law enforcement agencies have their own proper functions which do not include being henchmen for federal entities.
Budget: We need real prioritization of spending in our state budget. We’ve seen recently that the state Health Department did not need an emergency appropriation, we’ve had money management issues in the Tourism Deptartment, and there are several other areas where waste and mis-management are suspected. More importantly, the Legislature has utterly failed to discern between core services that people demand and less necessary expenditures that we could do without. For instance, there is nearly half a billion dollars in incentive programs before the Incentive Evaluation Commission. Do we really need these corporate welfare programs more than we need to adequately fund mental health services, or education? I don’t believe so but apparently the establishment party politicians do.
Interfaith: I am for equality before the law and will do everything I can to eliminate instances where individuals are treated differently because of religion or culture and will also work hard to protect freedom of religion for people of all faiths or of none by ensuring that state government does not oppress or promote any particular religious viewpoint. This commitment to freedom of religion would extend to avoiding exclusionary practices in regard to any public events that involve communities of faith.
Bullying: A key issue for me is to move authority and responsibility for education away from the politicians at the Capitol and towards the school districts to put decision making power within reach of teachers and parents. Rather than passing more ineffective but expensive mandates that may allow some politicians to act as though they did something, I believe that by empowering the education professionals in our communities we will develop our educational system to be more responsive to the needs of individual students and the concerns of parents.
Hate Crimes: At this time we have an over-burdened criminal justice system and overcrowded prisons. We need to do something to fix that we have too many people in prison overall and too many who should never have been put there in the first place. As we address that we will have greater latitude to be able to keep truly dangerous people in prison and away from society, such as those rare individuals who for whatever reason are motivated to commit violence against those who are of a differing ethnicity, belief, or culture.
Education: As I mentioned above we need to put control of our schools in the hands of people who are actually in that individual school on a regular basis. We also need to look at reform of the funding mechanisms for our public education system. When we compare K-12 with our CareerTech system, CareerTech is by and large on much better financial footing and does not have problems with paying instructors as our K-12 season does. It’s also the case that CareerTech receives far less of it’s funding through appropriations from the state Legislature. We need to migrate K-12 to having a greater percentage of it’s funding from local or other sources that are not controlled by the establishment party politicians. In my view the only people who should be making decisions about the education of any individual child are parents and teachers who know that child.
Rex L. Lawnhorn (L)
Born in Kansas, Rex has traveled all over the world as an adult to finally set up roots in Tulsa with other members of his family. Much of his family has been here his entire life and as such, Rex has seen the rise and fall of many of Oklahoma’s staple industries, repeatedly. He stands before you as a change agent, ready to stabilize Oklahoma’s economy and to drag the education system into the 21st Century.
A Tulsan for a total of 16 years, Rex has worked in the telecommunications, energy, and aerospace industries as a technician, a machinist, quality assurance and control, production planning, and as Director of Manufacturing at various stages in his career, most recently as a premises technician for AT&T. He has seen a dramatic cross section of blue-collar Oklahoma and stands with his roots to enhance the quality of life for all.
Currently located in Broken Arrow, Rex has involved himself in state and federal levels of politics as an activist, Americans Elect party chairman, current Oklahoma State Director for the Our America Initiative, plaintiff in Lawnhorn vs. Ziriax to update ballot access law and various other grassroots causes.
He was born into political life as a Democrat, until he realized that tax and spend will never solve any issues. He then migrated to the Republicans, where he spent most of his adult life, but still not comfortable with the overbearing micromanagement of citizens’ lives, dictating what you do in your own home and with your own property. Rex finally found a home with the Libertarian Party of Oklahoma, where neither tax and spend policies, nor oppressive regulation are tolerated.
Immigration: Immigration is a benefit to every society and brings with it economic and social gains alike. Immigrants become new consumers and producers and create a greater diversity in both the economy and in social experience and is a foundation principle of all civilization. It is a fundamental right of every person to be able to travel from one place to another as long as they don’t infringe on anyone else’s rights.
Budget: No, we should not raise taxes, but rather nd and reallocate the billions currently being misspent and misappropriated by the executive agencies. We should reassess a er we have a handle on where the money is going, but raising taxes right now would do nothing more than throw fuel on the corruption re and not alleviate our budget concerns. I’m con dent we can nd the money from current tax revenue to adequately fund every state agency.
Interfaith: First, I would veto any legislation that targets an individual or a community. I’m a rm believer in equal protection before the law. Secondly, I personally a end interfaith events and would use my voice to further strengthen the bonds of community. Third, I would enforce the laws that exist that are designed to prevent harassment and targeting. The majority of rights violations that currently take place are felonious as the law stands and should be prosecuted.
Bullying: Again, this is a matter of enforcing code that already exists. If the rights of an individual are being violated in a criminal manner, they should be prosecuted. With the current climate of anti-bullying taking place, we need to ensure those local programs are inclusive of racial and religious bullying as well. This is mostly a community-based solution, as it should be.
Hate Crimes: Crime should be prosecuted, regardless of bias. Since I intend to reduce prison population by removing those in custody for victimless crimes, the punishments for those who create actual victims will be much sti er. Oklahoma will be a very painful state in which to violate other people’s rights. Our crimes are sti y punished – only we target the wrong individuals. There won’t be another candidate who will more strongly protect individual liberties, and that includes especially those most heavily targeted, which tend to be religious and ethnic minorities.
Education: Find the money. It’s my belief based on publicly available information that we have over a billion dollars being misspent in the state education system as it exists. Some of that comes from an over abundance of administration. Lowering the number of superintendents from 520 to 100 will save approximately $400 million alone. Excessive luxury and architecture accounts for another $300 million average spent over the last 4 years. Prioritizing spending on Oklahoma students, instead of spending $800 million on out of state students that don’t stay in Oklahoma will be part of the solution as well. O ering ESAs to Oklahoma residents instead of direct school funding will further the impetus to increase educational outcomes, as schools will now be competing for students rather than have a captive consumer class, and will remove the ties to the state legislature controlling what happens in the classroom.
John Haste (R)
John and his wife, Jennifer, have been married 19 years. They are members of First Baptist Church of Broken Arrow where John serves as an usher and as chairman of the personnel board. John wants his adult son to have abundant opportunities that will keep him in Oklahoma for the long haul to live and raise his own family.
John was born and spent his early childhood in rural Arkansas. He attended secondary schools and college in Tennessee. His career has taken him internationally and all over the country, but he’s an Okie by choice. Oklahoma may sit at the bottom of many rankings, but John knows the heart of our state is top notch and he’s determined to change the rankings to reflect our true potential.
As a successful business executive for more than two decades, John Haste’s career has been about common sense leadership, setting ambitious goals, and then exceeding them. He has expertise in driving collaboration between competing interests to develop real solutions. It’s exactly what Oklahoma needs now.
Bill Day (R)
My wife Jennifer and I come from families of school teachers, administrators, and a superintendent, all of whom were educated in public school systems and public universities. She’s a public school speech-language therapist, and I volunteer for our school long range planning committee and coach our son’s youth soccer team. Our daughter and son both attend public schools. We see the book shortages, participate in the PTA fundraisers, buy and donate basic supplies to keep our schools running. So when it comes to the recent standoff between public school supporters and the state legislature, we get it.
I am also an engineering graduate from the University of Oklahoma. I’ve helped build, manage, and grow technology companies from mobile app startups to Internet services and computer makers. All of these companies have one big need in common: A well educated work force.
I’m tired of our state government settling for “ok” instead of aiming high. I’m sick of being told we can’t compete with Silicon Valley or Austin for bold initiatives like attracting Amazon’s second headquarters. We need leaders who understand that public education enables economic growth. The two are inseparable!
I’m a Republican, but I believe we can do better than the party-line politics we have experienced lately at the Capitol. Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, donkey or elephant, red or blue…if you’re tired of hearing “that’s just the way it is”, please join me. And if you believe that our state needs new ideas and better leadership at the Capitol, then I’m asking for your vote.
Our current legislature has not attacked our state’s problems with both public education and economic innovation. I will.
Immigration: Immigration is critical to the vitality of our state’s social and economic fabric. I support merit-based immigration policies. People who are following the legal process to immigrate should be “at the front of the line”, others who wish to apply should be added at the back of the line just as is done in other aspects of life (of course noting special cases of extreme urgency such as political asylum).
Budget: I have put forward a plan for what I will do if elected to the State Senate. This includes rst class public education, a number of economic innovation initiatives, and best practices in budgeting and management of state resources. The plan illustrates what I would prioritize rst. It is at: h p://day4ok.com/ what-i-will-do/
Interfaith: I take family, community, diversity, and Freedom of Religion seriously, and would like to regularly meet with community civic and religious leaders to discuss how we can work together to ensure their concerns are heard and we’re working to address them. I am a win-win thinker and have worked professionally for 22 years on building partnerships and communities; I’d bring that same approach to our community’s issues and the State Senate.
Bullying: I want all of our children to feel safe and cared for at our schools. I’m a supporter of increasing parental and community involvement in the schools in every way we can. I would like to hear your ideas for speci c protections you’d like to see implemented.
Hate Crimes: I believe we should prosecute such crimes to the full extent the law allows. I’d like your input on what changes in the law, if any, the legislature should investigate.
Education: I would create a 4 Year Public Education Plan analogous to the existing 8 Year Construction Work Plan (aka the “Roads and Bridges” plan). This 4 Year Education Plan would establish a fund for salaries and operational expenses, with a goal of leading our region in both by year four if not sooner. I will work with parents, PTAs, School Boards, Superintendents, statewide education leaders, and the legislature to enact this 4 Year Education Plan as quickly as possible. We cannot a ord to wait! This isn’t magic, but it is necessary to stop the loss of our best teachers and to secure the future for our children and our state.
Lori Callahan (R)
Oklahoma is last in everything that is important and first in everything that is embarrassing. I am dedicated to putting the people of Oklahoma above politics. We need to ensure we
continue to be represented by an independent voice that will make the tough decisions and fix our structurally deficient budget, increase teacher pay, reduce classroom size, adequately fund mental health programs, and invest in our roads and bridges. As your Senator I will fight each day to ensure a better quality of life for all Oklahomans
John Symcox (R)
I am a life-long Oklahoman and community leader with strong principles & values rooted in my faith and constitutionally conservative values. As a Republican, I believe that government has the responsibility to allow people to fulfill their maximum individual potential. The government must be a great steward of the tax dollars it has been entrusted with. I believe that personal responsibility and consequences are the bedrock of personal growth. Every person is valuable and should have the opportunity to pursue the life they dream.
I bring extensive finance and banking experience. I will work with our communities and businesses to help strengthen and grow the economy, and bring more jobs to the state. I have deep roots in Oklahoma and a commitment to public service through volunteerism and community involvement. My desire to help our state overcome its financial problems and education system deficiencies has led me to run for public office. I am extremely passionate about education, jobs, mental health, prison reform, economic growth, the homeless and fiscal responsibility.
As a fifth-generation community banker and financial advisor, I am a fiscal conservative with a passion for helping others and developing financial solutions for the state, nonprofits and businesses that bring stability to our state systems. Currently, I serve as the president of the board of directors of Upward Transitions, a nonprofit dedicated to helping the homeless and people most at risk of being homeless. I was raised in Norman, Oklahoma and am a product of the Norman Public School system. I graduated from Westminster College with a degree in Business Finance. I am not a politician, but a private citizen with a passion to help others. Our state government doesn’t currently represent our true values or the determined spirit I know is at the core of Oklahoma. Join me in making a difference for generations to come. I promise to be authentic, maintain my integrity, and bring innovation to our state government. Regardless of our political leanings, we all truly care about Oklahoma and the people that call this place home. Let’s change the conversation and pursue “A Stronger Oklahoma” together!
Angela Statum (D)
I am an Oklahoma school teacher hoping to make a difference beyond my classroom.
Visiting the capitol April 2018 has made me aware of how many people in our state are concerned with the issues of our education system, and how little our legislators are doing to support that system. As a result, I feel an obligation to the people of Oklahoma to do more. Therefore, I am running for a seat in the State House of Representatives.
I have been married for 33 years. I have 3 adult children. My family is in full support of my decision to run for office. I attend church at New Life Tabernacle in Sand Springs, where I am involved in children’s ministry, bus ministry and the outreach program.
I have been a resident of Oklahoma House District 68 for more than forty-five years. Some of my best memories as a teen, were spending time with my father; as we supported many of the previous candidates in their venture to also represent OK House District 68 and serve all citizens of Oklahoma.
I currently teach kindergarten for Tulsa Public Schools. And I presently serve as an elected delegate within the following associations; Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association (TCTA), Oklahoma Education Association (OEA) and the National Education Association (NEA). I believe that a public education should be a good, quality education available to the citizens of Oklahoma. I believe Public education needs to be both fully and properly funded so that classrooms have text books and supplies necessary to provide students that quality education.
I believe Legislators need to get behind education by appropriating funds that support more money per child/student. I believe Healthcare should not be a luxury. Oklahomans should have access to mental health care as well as preventative care.
I believe it is time for the State of Oklahoma to hear the voices of the people.
At the end of the day, Angela Statum is in it for the people not the politics.
Immigration: Immigrating to America is such an opportunity. I believe every immigrant that are law abiding and productive have every right to be here. I see them growing our economy.
Budget: I think it’s inevitable we raise revenue. I would first seek revenue from GPT. Those percentages are not yet where they need to be.
Interfaith: I would have community gatherings and events to get engagement from the community so all races could get more acclimated with each other.
Bullying: I am already on board with NO tolerance. I don’t believe anyone should be bullied because of race, gender or religion. NO one should ever be bullied for any reason.
Hate Crimes: I would educate the community so everyone would feel more comfortable with other races as opposed to being scared of them. I would make programs available to educate the public against bias-motivated crimes.
Education: I will raise revenue or whatever it takes to properly fund education. Education is the most important thing to keep our state competitive to other states. We also need eduction to grow our state and produce successful productive citizens.
Michael Ross (D)
A fifth generation Oklahoman and career educator, Michael Ross is uniquely qualified to address the needs of Oklahoma families in the State Legislature.
Michael is a classroom teacher with fourteen years of experience in Oklahoma’s public schools and has seen firsthand the impact of the legislature’s inaction. It was this negligence that inspired Michael to announce his candidacy. Michael’s service to schools dates back to his youth, when his parents Lane, a retired schoolteacher, and Randy, a CPA and former director of the Oklahoma Tax Commission’s Business Tax division, modeled a passion for schools by volunteering with his school’s Parent Teacher Organization, often involving Michael and his brother, Dan, in calling campaigns for bond elections. While working on his undergraduate degree at the University of Central Oklahoma, Michael was awarded a commendation by the Choctaw/Nicoma Park superintendent and board of education for his work on behalf of the district’s bond efforts. Michael’s professional career includes recognition as the 2016-2017 Sand Springs Education Association’s Teacher of the Year for his site and, more importantly, imparting the importance of lifelong learning to class after class of high school students at both his alma mater, Choctaw High School, and his present school, Charles Page High School.
Michael attained his BA from the UCO, where he spent four years as a member the prestigious President’s Leadership Council as well as an officer in the Student Programming Board. He also served as a member of the student senate.
Michael resides in west Tulsa with his wife, Lindsay, a school counselor; their daughter Claire, a third-grader; and their two dogs. The Rosses attend Harvard Avenue Christian Church.
Immigration: No Answer.
Budget: With state services seriously impacted by over a decade of budget cuts, Michael will fight for a budget that is fair to all Oklahomans. Corporate welfare and giveaways to special interests have bled state for too long, and a long-outdated
tax code is due to be revised to reflect the realities of a 21st Century economy. Michael will champion an Oklahoma that puts the needs of working families over lobbyists.
Interfaith: No Answer.
Bullying: No Answer.
Hate Crimes: No Answer.
Education: A free public education for all children is a principal so central to Oklahoma that it is promised in the state’s Constitution. In the past decade, though, decisions made at the Capitol have left that promise tarnished. As Representative, Michael Ross will fight to honor the commitment made in Article III, giving children an education that empowers and equips them for the future. As a career classroom teacher and second-generation Oklahoma educator, Michael has seen the effects of the legislature’s inaction on our state’s classrooms. Once elected, Michael will make the reversal of a decade’s decline in classroom funding a top priority, working to provide stable revenue sources to put needed money into classrooms and provide a revenue stream to cover the cost of raises for teachers with zero impact on other state agencies.
Lonnie Sims (R)
Jenks is truly a special place and has been such a blessing to my family. When presented with the opportunity to serve on the Jenks Planning Commission in 2004, it was the least I could do to show my appreciation for the exceptional quality of life my family, friends, and neighbors enjoy. Now almost a decade later and humbled to serve as Mayor, my goals remain the same as my first day as a newly appointed planning commissioner; Preserve Our Small Town Charm | Protect Our Citizens | Plan for Financial Security Promote Our City, recognized in 2013 by Bloomberg/BusinessWeek as the “Best Place in Oklahoma to Raise Kids”
My love and thanks to my wife, Lea Ann, and daughter, Laney, who sacrifice so much so I may serve this great community. My thanks as well to the citizens of Jenks for their continued support and commitment to the future of Jenks. God bless them all for lifting up our community and preserving our quality of life for the next generation to enjoy!
Nicole Nixon (R)
Growing up the oldest daughter of an Air Force captain, I was raised with a deep unyielding respect and sense of pride for our service men and women. My Dad is responsible for my deep love of music, and instilled in me an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, a strong sense of responsibility for our elders and children, and an emphasis on strong moral values and leadership through inspiration and example. My Mom was the oldest of 8 and raised in Oklahoma. She was a home maker, always involving herself with my school and the community, teaching me creative problem solving, a love for art and history, kindness, love, respect, the value of hard work, and the notion that charity starts at home. We traveled the country when I was young, experiencing the diverse cultures of California and Ohio, among others, and learning the patchwork of historic greatness of our nation. Finally, we settled in a 104-year-old farm house just north of Collinsville Oklahoma in 1994.
Living the farm life provided plenty of character building moments and grit. After the initial culture shock wore off I fell in love with small town Oklahoma. In middle school, I became so captivated with our small town, I got involved with our main street organization. I have always deeply valued the immense kindness, godliness, hard work ethic, moral character, and close community that Oklahomans share. It is a truly unique and wonderful place to grow up and to raise a family.
I graduated from Collinsville High School an avid musician and artist. Since there weren’t any apprenticeship or mentorship programs I sought out opportunities to build a strong foundation through hard work and diligence to ultimately find a career I could grow into. I started working at the age of 15 in a small diner, and continued to diligently pursue better opportunities until I landed an entry-level position at a metals distributor where I worked for about 8 years. Starting as a receptionist, I relentlessly pursued a sales position and after 3 years was finally granted my wish. We are now blessed that my husband has a great job and I was finally able to become a stay at home mom like my mother before me. Devoting my time and attention to my kids, volunteering at the public school they attended, and serving my wonderful, unique community by becoming the president of my neighborhood association, GOP precinct chair, and diving into the rich and amazing history of West Tulsa, I gained a profound interest in politics and public service.
In April, my family’s and community’s lives were turned upside-down when the Tulsa public school district announced a proposal to close 3 schools in west Tulsa because of anticipated state budget shortfalls including my children’s neighborhood school. The proposal would consolidate all the elementary children into the middle school and the middle school students in with the high school. Knowing how this would affect my children, neighborhood, community, and local economy, I banded together with other parents and community members to fight against this terrible idea. I educated myself on the issues Oklahoma, and Tulsa in particular, face with regards to education, and was appalled to find a huge lack of transparency, accountability, and innovation. I spoke out at every level to anyone that would listen. I took my children to every community meeting allowing them the opportunity of being included in the process of a decision that directly affected them. Both of my children decided to speak out at the final meeting where the school board voted to close their schools. It was a sad day for West Tulsa, but I made a promise to my children and my community that the fight wasn’t over yet and that I would continue to do whatever necessary to fix our education problems. My heart ached at the loss, but I chose to view this as a blessing in disguise, and a message from God that it was time to bring the people together.
I never set out to run for public office, but I am unable to continue standing by, feeling powerless over my children’s future! Like many Oklahomans, I’m sickened that our children, teachers, elders, and communities’ lives are suffering so the elite can play political games! I’m tired of hearing nice things and seeing results of the opposite! I’m done waiting for a candidate that actually represents me and my community! That is why I am now running at full speed for Oklahoma Senate district 37 to put us back into the center of the conversation to bring more transparency, accountability, and creative thinking to our state government and its budget issues. This a community problem that demands a community solution! If we want the status quo to change, we need to stop electing the same cookie-cutter, well connected politicians. Money doesn’t win elections, people do, as we clearly saw during our last presidential race! We need change and we need it now! We need someone who knows us and has lived the struggles we face, someone who cares, someone who’s relentless and real, and someone that wants to see all of us prosper together! We need to continue the legacies that have been handed down to us. We all need to stand up and be leaders in order to leave this place better than we found it! Please join me as, together, we lead our state back to the greatness of our hard-working families, innovative youth, and proud history.
Immigration: I love our immigrants that have come here to find new hope and opportunity and have prioritized becoming citizens of our great nation! I further love those that have embraced the American dream and started businesses here!
Budget: I believe you can’t get where you’re going without knowing where you are. In depth audits across all of our state agencies need to be a priority to ensure the money entrusted to the government is being spent in the most e cient and e ective way possible. We have nearly 3 times the recent tax increase in projected surplus revenue for next year and I’m excited to see it hopefully go to help education, infrastructure and our most vulnerable.
Interfaith: I am excited to serve all of my constituents equally.
Bullying: My children are not a minority but they are also bullied and harassed. I believe discipline in the schools needs to be addressed by the parents consistently with the school district. I have fought this ba le for many years and will continue to do so as a parent on the local level because I strongly believe in local control of our schools, children learning consequences, and personal responsibility.
Hate Crimes: I would like to know which laws specifically your members would like addressed. I strongly believe the proper role of government is to protect life, liberty, and property for every citizen.
Education: I think we need to address the state mandates for education, reform the funding formula to make it more simple, and use the innovative and we’ll educated minds of our state to decide what a fantastic 21st century education looks like so we can start making steps towards that. I think if we look at the work environment of teachers and give them more freedom to use their expensive educations to teach we will not only free up money spent on expensive high stakes standardized testing, out of state consultants and scripted curriculum, but will produce be er educational outcomes for our students. Im tired of comparing ourselves against every other state, I want every other state to compare themselves against us!
Cheryl Baber (R)
Cheryl Baber is a Tulsa attorney who enjoys life with her CPA husband, Chuck, and their two sons, Grant and Luke. She grew up on a farm and ranch in Walters, Oklahoma as the youngest of four daughters who spent their summers harvesting wheat with the family out on the Great Plains. Cheryl initially attended Oklahoma City University and majored in journalism before transferring during her junior year to Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. There, she graduated summa cum laude, was named the Outstanding Graduate in the Division of Political Science and Public Administration, and she received a Rotary Foundation International Scholarship. She used that scholarship to obtain a degree in international history and politics at the Graduate Institute of International Affairs in Geneva, Switzerland. Upon returning to the United States, Cheryl obtained a law degree at Columbia University School of Law in New York.
Beverly A Atteberry (R)
I am pleased to announce that I have filed to run as a Republican for Oklahoma House of Representatives – District 71. The State of Oklahoma needs representatives that want our State to be at the top of the lists that benefit our State. I understand the law and have studied it for over 25 years. We need representatives that pass laws that will stand up to a legal challenge in the courts.
Dan Hicks (R)
No biographical information available.
Karen Gilbert (R)
Republican Karen Gilbert has lived her entire life in Tulsa and dedicated herself to improving our community.
From investing in Tulsa’s youth as a public schools advocate, to leading and listening as a City Councilwoman, Karen has done more than just care about our future; she’s rolled up her sleeves to help shape it. It is hard to imagine that six years have passed and it is now time for another election. I could not be more enthusiastic or proud to announce that I am running for a different office, House of Representatives District 79.
I have enjoyed serving the citizens of Tulsa City Council District 5 and I believe that we have accomplished a great deal. I would like to see to that momentum spread within our state. Our state needs some leadership and I would like to use my talents to help. It was an honor serving as Chairperson of the Council my third year in office. I was also honored to serve as the chair of two task forces that affect Tulsans everyday; the Greenwaste Trash and the Public Safety Task Forces. I have continued to work on moving our Vision Proposal for Public Safety forward. As a parent and a life-long citizen of Tulsa, this proposal is very important to me. This proposal will increase our number of police officers and firefighters and ensure citizens’ calls are responded to more quickly. I go on regular ride-alongs with our public safety departments so that I am aware of the needs on the streets. Some of Karen’s Accomplishments.
Presented Tulsa’s first dedicated funding for Public Safety to the vote of the people. Was passed overwhelmingly by the citizens of Tulsa.
Councilor of the Year 2014, 2015, 2016 Tulsa’s Fraternal Order of Police | Chair of the Tulsa City Council Public Safety Task Force | 2015 Oklahoma Journal Record 50 Women Making A Difference | 2014 Chairman of the Tulsa City Council | Created awareness that helped pass HB 1661 which was a Anti-Bullying Bill | 2014 Tulsa World’s ten “People to Watch” Graduate of Leadership Oklahoma Class 28 | Graduate of Leadership Tulsa Class 49 2011 Honoree of the Festival of Hope, chaired by Governor Fallin Finalist of Tulsa Public School’s Support Employee of the Year, chosen out of 3,000 candidates Served as President of Tulsa Council of PTAs | Served as PTA President at Key Elementary, Byrd Middle School, and Memorial High School.
Stan May (R)
Stan is the public information officer for the Tulsa Fire Department, where he has served for 26 years. A father and husband, Stan has three children, all who attended Broken Arrow and Bixby schools. He is a graduate of Southern Nazarene University and Rhema Bible Training College. He attends Life Church.
Mike Ritze (R)
Mike Ritze is a Republican member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, representing District 80. He was first elected to the chamber in 2008. Ritze earned his B.S. in Zoology from Northeast Missouri State University and graduated from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. His professional experience includes working as a licensed family practitioner and surgeon, as well as a consultant to several law firms, and an educator. Ritze served as a Captain in the United States Army
Nicole Miller (R)
Nicole’s father was a Nazarene pastor, and her mom was a teacher. Growing up, Nicole lived throughout the central United States as her father worked in various ministries. Her family eventually settled down when her father took a pastorate in the Fort Worth area, where Nicole graduated from high school and college (B.S. in Government Service).
One day a young Air Force Lieutenant visited Nicole’s father’s church in Fort Worth. That was the day Nicole met her future husband, Doug. Doug is a pilot who graduated from the United States Air Force Academy. He recently retired after 20 years of active duty service, which included combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. He now flies for a major airline. Doug was first stationed at Altus Air Force Base in 2006 and was eventually transferred to Will Rogers World Airport flying military flight inspections with the FAA. While in the service, Nicole and Doug had two children, Aubrey and Hutch, and now attend Deer Creek Public Schools and Classen SAS.
While pregnant with her second child, Nicole was diagnosed with a highly aggressive form of breast cancer at the age of 35. To make matters worse, Doug was flying missions overseas at the time. Nicole was diagnosed on a Tuesday. She was induced the following Saturday and started Chemotherapy within the month.
Going thru chemo with a newborn, a 3 year old and a military husband flying abroad all at the same time taught Nicole invaluable lessons about God’s grace, personal humility, and determination. Nicole is a woman of great personal courage who will stand strong at the Capitol.
Over the years, Nicole has been highly involved in activities supporting our military and veterans. In Oklahoma, she began working for the Oklahoma National Guard, focusing on federal legislation. She took lead roles on BRAC issues and was instrumental, for example, in helping to save hundreds of jobs stationed at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base with the replacement of the KC-135 mission with a new special operations MC-12W mission.
Nicole subsequently moved to the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs with Major General Myles Deering. There she has helped modernize agency operations, saving taxpayers thousands of dollars. She’s also taken lead roles on important projects, such as a new Oklahoma Veterans Registry, to ensure all Oklahoma veterans receive the support and benefits they have earned.
Growing up in a pastoral home, Nicole has always been active in her faith. She’s served in almost every ministry job imaginable, from sweeping the church floors to teaching Sunday School. Nicole and her family now attend Heritage Baptist Church in far northwest Oklahoma City, where she is involved with the AWANA program.
Brad Martin (R)
A fourth generation Oklahoman, Brad Martin grew up on a farm outside Cashion where he graduated high school and where his step-father was principal. Martin attended Southern Nazarene University where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing and Finance. After graduating in 2000, Martin co-founded his first business, HealthHistories, Inc. and the company developed software allowing patients to go online to access pertinent medical data from any computer worldwide. The company was recognized by the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST). Martin was also a Journal Record Innovator of the Year award recipient.
Nkem House (D)
Nkem House grew up in District 99 where he lived with his grandfather, Jonas House. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma College of Law, he purchased his first home in District 99, a few miles from the home he grew up in, and married his wife, Alana (Haynes) House. They have lived there for 10 years, raising their three boys, Nkem Jr., Jonas, and Charles.
Nkem is an alumni of Leadership Oklahoma City, has served on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma, as a moot court coach for the Douglass High School moot court team, and as co-founder of the Oklahoma Chaos Basketball Club. He is also a member of a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity, Inc.His family, which consists of three generations of Douglass High School graduates, supports the community through the award of the Mary Beatrice & Jonas House Scholarship, which is awarded annually to a graduate of Douglass High School.
Ajay Pittman (D)
My name is Ayshia “Ajay” Pittman and I am a sixth-generation Oklahoman with dual citizenship as an enrolled member of the Seminole Nation. My grandparents and parents have taught me the value of hard work and the importance of advocating on behalf of all people, especially those who cannot do so for themselves. Honoring my heritage and respecting my culture is key to my way of life. Respect for diversity is a principle that guides my actions every day.
Immigration: My stance on immigration is that we need immigration reform because it is a federal issue, and we need a concise path to citizenship. Immigrants and undocumented workers play a vital role in Oklahoma’s economy they pay fuel tax, grocery tax and property tax. My concern is that States legislatures do not regulate immigration reform however they do benefit.
Budget: We are currently in a budget de cit. Yes I believe that we should pass more revenue raising measures and core government must be sustained. I would Prioritize funding for Education, Healthcare, and Transportation.
Interfaith: As a minority female I understand the complexity of politics. First I would continue to support your rights to religious freedoms, I will encourage increased participation in advocacy programs to help keep you informed and engaged in the political process. I would start by educating your high school seniors and expanding opportunities for them to participate in addressing community issues. I would teach the VoteWise Project and the Neighbor to Neighbor Campaign.
Bullying: As a supporter and participant in Anti Bullying rallies and campaigns I would strive to educate the Muslim community on our current bullying laws that protect them, in and e ort to empower them so that they can educate their teachers and administrators to follow the law.
Hate Crimes: I would work to introduce hate crime law because currently Oklahoma does not always recognize crimes as a “Hate” crimes. Sometimes a higher court opinion has to be sought for a case to be classi ed as a crime of hate.
Education: The improvement of the public educational system will depend on two things, local control from the local school board and superintendent. The second thing will come from the legislature securing and sustaining long term revenue for teacher pay raises, updated textbooks, and maintain smaller classroom sizes. I would ght to sustain long term revenue which is in part a long term solution to x our educational systems in Oklahoma. The student population is increasing while teachers are leaving so we have to ght to fund the public education.
Julie Roach (R)
Okay, who am I kidding? I’m not a politician. I’m an educator and small business owner. For nearly 25 years, I’ve found myself either in the classroom working with students or working as an administrator. I am currently an assistant principal at Capitol Hill High School, and I’ve also worked as a school counselor and special education teacher. I have a Masters of Education in special education, educational guidance and counseling, and educational administration. In my small business, I sell healthy coffee called revitalu/jroach. I have built a team over 180 strong.
I have four adult children and six grandchildren all under the age of 12. I am running, because it is important to me that they have a strong Oklahoma to grow up in. I hope they have access to a world-class education, affordable healthcare, and when they graduate college, they can find a job that allows them to start families of their own.
Marilyn M Stark (R)
I am a Christian, Republican who is concerned by what I see and hear in the world around me and in the political arena specifically. Being challenged by Franklin Graham on our state Capitol lawn in 2016, I was challenged again recently to be a part of the conversation. I have a wide variety of experience that I believe equips me to be a part of the solution. While I don’t see any easy answers, I do see a desire from many to work harder at communicating across the aisle, across the chamber, and across the street, neighborhood to neighborhood to find those answers and build a stronger Oklahoma. Accountability, transparency and availability are key to a better OK! Together we can be better!