Editor’s note: This is part of an ongoing series of profiles introducing area candidates running for local elected offices.

Please introduce yourself:  Include hometown, education and family.
My name is Miranda Shelton and I live in Kingston, where I graduated from high school in 1993.  I received a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with endorsements in Early Childhood and Mild Moderate Disabilities in 2000 from Southwestern Oklahoma State University.  I recently completed my master’s degree in Educational Leadership and I now have an Elementary Principal’s Certificate.  In 2011 I received my real estate license and later gained my Broker’s License. I currently teach special education at Kingston Elementary and I work as a Broker’s Associate at Texoma Agency Real Estate in Kingston.  I have three beautiful children.  Ashten is 23 and recently graduated from Oklahoma State University, Kaily is 14 and a freshman, and Addison is 11 and in fifth grade.

What prompted you to run for this office?
In April, several of my fellow teachers and I participated in the teacher walkout at the State Capitol.  The experience was one that changed us forever. We realized our voices and the voices of our students were not being heard, and the system was broken.  The only way to help our students and our state was to run for office and bring change from within.  
What challenges do you expect to encounter if elected?
As an outsider and someone who has never worked in the legislature, I expect to encounter great resistance to change.  Our government has long standing relationships with special interests groups who have been influencing their decisions and change will not come easy.  Many have said that change is impossible, but I believe it is not only possible, but also imperative if we want Oklahoma to thrive.
What do you hope to accomplish?
I hope to expose corruption and waste and help begin the process of restoring funding to the most vital agencies within our state.  I also hope to restore the people’s trust in our state government by truly listening to them and making decisions that are in their best interests and in the best interests of our state.  
How do you plan to meet your goals?
I plan to work with legislators from both sides to uncover corruption and waste and increase revenue so that funding can be restored to our public schools and other state agencies.  I believe there are good people in our legislature who truly want what is best for our state, but they have been silenced for years.  If the elections bring the change that we need, those silenced voices will finally be heard.  I also plan to stay in contact with the people in my district and truly listen to their concerns. As a state representative it is my job to be their voice.  
What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the state?
Over the last few years decreased revenue and budget cuts have left our public schools, roads and bridges, rural hospitals, mental health agencies, and others in crisis.  I believe one of the biggest challenges we face as a state is finding ways to increase revenue and restore funding to these vital agencies.  
Our legislature must stop catering to big corporations with tax breaks and incentives and start putting the citizens first. Taxes are a necessity but legislators must be held accountable for how the money is spent.  The hard working people of Oklahoma have the right to know how their money is being spent and they should see the benefit of paying taxes by being able to drive on good roads and bridges and send their kids to schools that are adequately funded and full of certified teachers with the knowledge and tools to prepare them for college and beyond.
What do you see as the biggest legislative need facing your district?
Our legislators must stop worrying about reelection and make decisions that are in the best interests of the people they represent.  For too long, our legislators have given in to the pressures from special interest groups for fear of not getting a campaign contribution or worse, that a particular special interest group might fund an opponent.  The only special interest groups I have any desire to please are the people of my district, who I have asked to entrust me with their vote and confidence.