Editor’s note: Candidates for state and national offices on the ballot for the August 28 runoff election were invited to respond to questions for profiles in The Ardmoreite. Those who chose to respond will be featured alongside their ballot opponent. For those that did not participate, basic information will be provided.
I grew up in Seminole. After high school I attended OU — Business degree and law degree. Spent two years in the US Army, law clerked for a Federal Judge and later practiced law in OKC. Went to DC on Senator Fred Harris’s staff. Came back to Oklahoma and practiced law in Seminole and was elected Mayor of Seminole. In 1988 went to OU as general counsel and served in that capacity until 1998. I taught political science at OU as well as Higher Ed law. After leaving OU I have practiced law and have been engaged in a family business.
Why are you running for this office?
I decided to run so that I could present the issue of campaign reform to the voters of the 4th District. Based on my background and educational training I think I am uniquely qualified to advance this issue.
What do you think are the top three biggest challenges facing our state?
In my opinion, the three major issues facing the country are: 1. The necessity of getting dark money out of politics. 2. Protecting the integrity of social security by maintaining adequate funds in the social security trust fund. 3. Passing a fair and equitable health care bill that will address our 37th health status ranking in the world.
What are your top five priorities to address while in office?
My top 5 priorities are: 1. Advancing a constitutional amendment limiting the amount that can be spent in a federal election to one dollar per person living in the District. Approximately 770,000 people live in the 4th District. I take no PAC money and no money outside the District. 2. Lift the $126,999 cap on social security withholding so we can maintain the integrity of social security, 3. Advance an alternative and progressive health care proposal. The Administration has been removing parts of the ACA without offering solutions. 4. Advance public education and resist Secretary De Boss’s efforts to advance private education. 5.Support the bi-partisan immigration bill that treats all human beings with dignity.
When faced with a specific situation that puts your personal viewpoint at odds with a great many of your constituents, what decision do you make and why?
If faced with this situation my decision whether to follow the wishes of the constituency would depend on the issue. I would not compromise on matters of human rights and decisions related to sending our troops into battle. As indicated, this would be a fact specific decision and would depend on whatever educational and experience qualification I might possess as well as knowledge of the issue gained in the legislative process that the voters of the 4th District would not have.