Editor’s note: This is part of an ongoing series of profiles introducing area candidates running for local elected offices.
By Ari James
Please introduce yourself: include hometown, education and family.
I am Tammy Townley (formerly Tammy Pevehouse), Republican candidate for House District 48. I am currently a Deputy Carter County Clerk. Thirteen years prior, I managed 15 counties for Experience Works, a program to assist senior adults with training skills and eventually, employment.
My parents are the late Carl Pevehouse and Rozella Baker Pevehouse, owners of PV Valve and PV Quarter Horse Farm, Ratliff City. My mother was counselor for MSC at Higher Ed for many years. We owned The Living Word Bookstore in Ardmore for over 22 years. My husband of 19 ears, JR Townley, is employed by Valero Refinery. JR pastors Graham Assembly of God, where I am the Youth and Children’s Director. We have three kids. Our youngest, Tory, just graduated from Plainview High School. I have a BS from OSU and graduated from Velma-Alma. My earliest education consisted of Fox Elementary and Tatum Headstart.
What prompted you to run for this office?
When Rep. Ownbey told me he was not running for office again, I immediately felt this was my time to take a stand for our state, for District 48. The decision to run was made with much prayer. Our state is not having an easy time at the moment. It’s my time to step up to the plate to offer solutions for the “everyday” person. Our entire marriage we have both worked at least two jobs. I understand what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck. Our District needs a person who understands what raising taxes does to the average family. I am the best person for this job. I have the best background to understand each aspect of the job of representing the people of Oklahoma.
What challenges do you expect to encounter if elected?
We are still facing several challenges with the budget. My challenge, like any new legislator will be to gain the respect, and the confidence, of my colleagues so we can work together for the good of the state of Oklahoma and District 48. When you’re the new kid on the block you have to work harder, and work smarter, than the rest to make your light shine and that’s exactly what I intend to do.
What do you hope to accomplish?
I hope to see Education fully funded. I want see our state workers, teachers, and support staff with a liveable wage. I realize that school funding is handed down to each school district to delegate funds. However, there should be enough earmarked that a teacher should never have to fund their classroom from their own pockets. My desire is to also focus my attention, and that of my fellow legislators, on the things that will keep the State of Oklahoma and District 48 a place of interest for new industry. New industry brings new jobs, more people and a broader tax base to help fund things like education, infrastructure and all the basic services for our elderly citizens who have contributed so much to this great state.
How do you plan to meet your goals?
The goals may be accomplished by looking at new cutting edge technologies that will be here for the long haul. In turn, they will benefit by all the things our state and district has to offer. New industry will provide sustainable revenue streams to not only take the heavy burden off of our oil and gas industry, but make the state more attractive for people who are looking for a safe place to raise a family and good quality of life. I truly believe the combination of all my past life experience and work history, I am the person to lead the charge for Southern Oklahoma. I have been a worker with Ardmore Chamber of Commerce, Department of Human Services, Murray State College, and King Aerospace. These places left me with a well-rounded knowledge of the needs in our area.
What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the state?
I believe the greatest challenge we face in the state is getting our fiscal house in order. We have to look at how we are spending our money and make sure that we are using it responsibly. We need to look at every agency and make sure that they are being accountable for how the hard earned money of the tax payers of Oklahoma is being spent.
What do you see as the biggest legislative need facing your district?
The greatest legislative need for our district is making sure we make funds available to support the training and education of potential hires for new industry that we want to bring into the district. We need to make sure that we are supporting our local schools and places like The University Center and Southern Oklahoma Technology Center so they can educate and train people to support all the work force needs of our district.