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 live in Seminole County, near Maud, but was raised at Kinta, in Haskell County. I have a BBA in Petroleum Land Management from OU. I have worked primarily in the oil and gas industry, but also in telecom and government relations. My wife Donna is an RN and my daughter Abby is a nursing student at East Central University.
Why are you running for this office?
I am running because our state government, especially the OCC, no longer answers to the people of Oklahoma, but to a small number of rich and powerful elite, CEOs and billionaires. I want to bring the focus of government on the people who make this state great: The 3.9 million Oklahomans, not the select few.
What do you think are the top three biggest challenges facing our state?
Our three biggest challenges are 1. funding for our future, 2. Education, and 3. Getting back to serving the millions, not the millionaires.
What are your top five priorities to address while in office?
My five priorities are 1. Treat wind and solar energy with equal footing as oil and gas. 2. Rural internet access should expand to all households in the state. 3. 7 percent GPT again and for good this time. 4. Restore our tax rates to the level they were the last time our government paid for itself and necessary services, and 5. Don’t make government work against the masses like it has the last decade.
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 I feel strongly about an issue, I will make my case to the people. If the majority still stands against my position, as their public servant I will support the people’s choice. Public service is not personal service.
What is your position on the gross production tax? What do you think the max GPT should be? What is your stance on GPT for resources other than oil?
A 7 percent GPT was the norm for decades. We must get back to that level ASAP. Because this was the norm, it should never go higher than 7 percent without a vote of the people at large. Seven percent GPT should apply to all energy resources in Oklahoma: oil, gas, wind, solar, and anything else related to energy production.