Oklahoma Legislature - State Senator, District 27
|Term limited year||2026|
|Highest degree attained||Bachelor's degree|
|Occupation||Farmer; cow-calf business|
What do you hope to accomplish in the 2018 session?
In the past three years since I’ve been elected, we’ve had a major hole in the budget. That kind of consumed all of my ideas about what I wanted to accomplish, because I was focused on how do we fix the problems we have. I want to change the rhetoric at the Capitol where we are more of a business-friendly state. A lot of times companies look at what’s coming out of the State Capitol when they make their decision on whether or not they want to invest in the state.
What do you hope the Legislature will accomplish?
I want to see more companies coming to Oklahoma. With a lot of these major companies, before they move to a new area they look at the education situation. They look at what kind of schools they have and what kind of education they provide. We cannot be last in education. I would like to see the legislature address teacher pay raises. I think we need to give incentives to bring businesses to Oklahoma, but in the same breath, I think we need to start giving our teachers incentives to stay here in Oklahoma.
What should people know about you?
In my everyday life, I’m a rancher. I’m from a small town in the Panhandle called Felt, where the population sign says 100 plus or minus. A lot of people get us confused with federal legislators, and they think we make a lot of money, but we don’t. We make $35,000 a year. When we’re in session, I leave Sunday evening, and I don’t get back until late Thursday night or Friday; and my family sacrifices tremendously for me to do this job. From my house to the state capitol is 329 miles ... The good side of that is when I drive to the Capitol I drive completely through my district. I’m able to look at what’s going on throughout my entire district every time I go to the Capitol, and when we’re in session that’s every weekend. That helps me be a better legislator. The other thing is, people think we only work four months out of the year. If you’re representing your district the way you should, it’s a full-time job.
Data from followthemoney.org