Oklahoma Legislature - State Representative, District 78
|Term limited year||2028|
|Highest degree attained||Bachelor's degree|
|Occupation||Owner, marketing and PR consulting firm|
|Office phone||(405) 557-7334|
What do you hope to accomplish in the 2018 session?
I have to recognize the realities of what I’m faced with, as, one, a freshman, and two, a Democrat, in a very heavily weighted, Republican-controlled Legislature. Also, by virtue of the fact that it is the Speaker of the House who dictates which bills are allowed to be heard, which members are vice-chair or chair, and pretty much which bills are allowed to get out of committee, my legislative possibilities are substantially limited. Ninety percent of the bills that were allowed to be heard in committee and then allowed to be heard on the floor of the House were Republican-generated. So there are very few opportunities provided of any substance to the minority party, which I think is a problem ... I do think that there are significant initiatives that I want to support and want to at least initiate a dialog around, even if it may not manifest itself in legislation that is given a fair hearing. There are issues like education funding. I think we have got to implement a teacher pay and a teacher retention system ... I am interested in furthering what we can do in regard to criminal justice reform ... I do believe there are some specific things that I personally am passionate about that have to do with campaign financing and making that more transparent. That’s very important.
What do you hope the Legislature will accomplish?
We have to get out of this mindset of saying our agencies are adequately funded, and all we need to do is just stop the graft, corruption and mismanagement. That is irresponsible rhetoric. And I think, too, we have got to remove ourselves from behavior that continues to perpetuate this vitriolic relationship between the two parties. And right now, it is vitriolic, and it is being perpetuated, and I think it is very dysfunctional and no citizen, Republican or Democrat, or an Independent or whatever you are, is well served by this kind of behavior that I have seen.
What should people know about you?
I never wanted to run for public office. I never wanted to be an elected member of the legislature. The only reason I did it was because my representative was termed out, and that seat was open and vulnerable and nobody else was stepping up. And I was scared to death that somebody else was going to get in there that was crazy. I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s not just R or D, there’s crazy and not crazy ... I think the bottom line is, I’m just a regular person, I pay my taxes, I have trouble keeping track of my bills, I’ve got car troubles and have to mow my yard just like everybody else ... and I just happened to get angry enough to step up, and so, I think that’s the most important thing.
Data from followthemoney.org