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.
I am a native Ardmoreite. My family roots extend back to statehood when my great-grandparents settled in Springer, Woodford and Gene Autry. After graduating Ardmore High School, I attended Oklahoma State University where I majored in journalism and minored in political science. I married my high school sweetheart, Robert Meek, a former U.S. Army medic during the Viet Nam War and a retired teacher and coach whose career in education was bookended with stints as a petroleum landman. We raised two married daughters, Brittyn Rosebure and Katie Snipes Brown. Thanks to them, we have two wonderful sons-in-law, Kyle Rosebure and Linville “Bo” Brown, and two beautiful granddaughters, Katelyn Snipes Skinner and McKenna Rosebure, and a kind and caring grandson-in-law, Josh Skinner.
What prompted you to run for this office?
I’m passionate about creating healthy families, good schools and strong communities. In observing legislative action during the past decade and, in some cases, inaction, I realized how badly rural Oklahoma needs leaders at the state capitol with a basic understanding of what it takes to build a thriving rural economy, who have the temperament to create bi-partisan solutions, and who are willing to address our state’s real issues, including the economic realities of supporting a limited, but energetic government to create great places to live and to help families thrive. My perspective comes from owning two successful businesses as well as formerly chairing the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce, the Ardmore Development Authority, and the Ardmore Main Street Authority. Rural Oklahoma cannot rebound without adequate funding of public schools, infrastructure, and affordable health care. My experience and background have given me the insight and energy to successfully champion these causes

What challenges do you expect to encounter if elected?
A culture of disagreement rather than agreement has taken hold in the Oklahoma legislature. I firmly believe I can meet this challenge and that reasonable people with reasonable goals can get along and succeed. I will work the middle ground and solve problems rather than look for disagreements that cause problems. Finally, ensuring I maintain contact with constituents is a prime concern, which is why I plan to maintain a local office separate from my business and hire a part-time employee who can help me better serve constituents’ needs.

What do you hope to accomplish?
First, I plan on being an active member of the rural caucus in the legislature and focus on addressing the community and economic development needs of communities outside of Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Second, I would like to establish a system of ongoing accountability whereby state agencies measure what programs are working, what programs need reforming, and what programs are wasting taxpayer dollars. Third, I will work closely with community leaders to help them and help them implement solutions for their community’s problems.

How do you plan to meet your goals?
Stay focused on what’s important, seek facts and opinions on both sides of issues, build trusting relationships with fellow legislators, research and implement best practices in good governance, and, mostly importantly, seek out and listen to the voices in my district.

What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the state?
Developing strong towns requires building great places to live in which families can thrive. Meeting this mission requires investing in a) public schools b) infrastructure--roads, bridges, water, utilities, and telecommunications--and c) affordable access to health and mental health care. Successful communities invest in themselves. Yet, small towns, faced with fewer resources and a declining population, need a legislature willing to adopt policies favorable to helping their districts meet these needs.

What do you see as the biggest legislative need facing your district?
Three school districts in House District 48 operated this past school year on four-day school weeks because of inadequate funding. The No. 1 need of business is a well-trained workforce. The No. 1 need for a small town to survive and thrive is a good public school. Local schools are the key to developing a trained and prepared workforce and serve as economic engines for their towns. In my opinion, we cannot adequately prepare children for college or the workforce based on the model we’ve been following.