With so many candidates on stage, there wasn’t a lot of time to ramble.
And for the most part, the Nov. 6 hopefuls who spoke at a forum Tuesday night at the Velma-Alma High School Auditorium steered clear of directly criticizing their opponents – at least by name.
About 100 people attended the forum, the first of three being hosted by the Duncan Area Chamber of Commerce. The next is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday in Territory Hall of the Stephens County Fairgrounds, with a third set for 7 p.m. Oct. 23 at Empire School cafeteria.
Candidates used the first forum to tell prospective voters why they were running and what they wanted to accomplish if elected. Here are some highlights:
Democrat Mike Fullerton of Newcastle said he had family “strung out from Comanche all the way to Newcastle” in the district, and among his top priorities were education and infrastructure.
He said the state had $575 million in its Rainy Day Fund and some of the money should be invested in schools.
“We’ve got a seat that is broken right here and a ceiling tile that is leaking up there,” Fullerton said, pointing around the auditorium. “It’s time we fixed these things before somebody gets hurt.”
He said he opposed elimination of the state income tax.
Republican Corey Brooks of Washington, Okla., said he was opposed to outright elimination of the state income tax because it likely would mean increases in corporate taxes or property taxes.
He said Oklahoma was on the right track when it came to low unemployment, revenue collections and Rainy Day reserves, and he was not running “to rage against the machine” but rather to join a team in the Legislature.
“We are on a path to greatness,” he said. “I want you to leave here knowing Oklahoma is a great place to live and work.”
Stephens County Sheriff:
Republican Sheriff Wayne McKinney said he was running for re-election based on his record, one that included putting more criminals in jail and solving violent crimes.
“There hasn’t been a violent crime in this county … that we haven’t solved and that includes one that occurred in this little town,” he said.
He was referring the killing of 16-year-old Braylee Henry of Velma this past July. A suspect in the crime is in jail awaiting a preliminary hearing.
Democrat Jimmy Williams, police chief in Marlow, said he would seek greater cooperation between the sheriff’s department and other agencies and enhancing relations with the public.
“They may be calling because they have a lost dog or cat” or because of a major crime, he said, “In each, it is our job to go out there and do the very best we can.”
Incumbent Democrat Todd Churchman of Empire said he has helped oversee a balanced county budget and road work that included 22 new bridges in the district during his first term and 170 miles of resurfacing. He said his background in the private paving business was a plus.
“I came in with a commercial way of looking at things, where time is money,” he said. “The faster we can get a project done the faster we can move to the next one.”
Republican Lonnie Estes of Empire said he would be very accessible and a good steward of taxpayer money, and would seek to work well with other county officials.
“It won’t be a smooth-running machine if all the time they are butting heads instead of having a dialogue,” he said
Democrat Stewart Meyer of Chickasha said he has spent 36 years in law enforcement, most of them as a state trooper, and would concentrate on enhancing core government services such as education and public safety.
He said he did not favor elimination of state income taxes.
“I can assure you if you take away income taxes, our schools are going to be in a lot worse shape than they are now,” he said.
Republican Scott Biggs of Chickasha did not attend.
Democrat Donna Bebo of Fletcher said she wanted to bring more green energy jobs to Oklahoma and cut the federal budget without hurting Social Security or Medicare. She said she would not be a career politician.
“We have a Capitol full of them and we need to stop the partisan bickering,” she said,
Independent RJ Harris of Norman noted that he ran unsuccessfully against incumbent Republican Rep. Tom Cole of Moore in 2010 and is now running as in independent whose platform mirrors that of Republican Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.
He said he feels like the Republican Party abandoned him, not the other way around.
“We were promised we would get smaller government, more fiscally responsible government,” he said.
Cole did not attend.
With so many candidates on stage, there wasn’t a lot of time to ramble.
- Local News
Golden Corral building remains vacant
In November 2012, Duncan’s Golden Corral closed its doors, leaving its building vacant on U.S. Highway 81.
More than a year later, the building still doesn’t have a new business. And it’s not the only building in such a condition. Buildings previously home to Hastings Entertainment and Goodies also remain vacant.
The gift of giving
Many young people have made out their list for Christmas, however, 11 Duncan Middle School students recently experienced the joy of giving rather than receiving.
Before Christmas each year, Love in Action, an organization through Eastside Church of Christ, makes aprons out of holiday themed fabric to take to nursing homes. This year, the group wasn’t able to purchase the fabric.
Jimmy’s Egg to arrive in March
Jimmy’s Egg is coming to Duncan.
In March, the breakfast and lunch restaurant will be taking over the old Legacy Bank location, just south of the Legacy Bank on U.S. Highway 81. This adds to other recent restaurant chains that have moved into Duncan in the past 12 months, including national chain Applebees Neighborhood Grill & Bar and Oklahoma chain Interurban.
Revolvers and Rhinestones to offer mounted shooting clinic
Cowboy mounted shooting is a fast-growing sport in the United States and now the Duncan community has the opportunity to learn skills from the best.
Revolvers and Rhinestones is presenting a Cowboy Mounted Shooting Clinic Dec. 20 with instructor Curt Moore. Beginning shooters, who have never shot off their horse, will be from 1-3 p.m. and intermediate shooters, who want to refine their skills, will be from 3-5 p.m. at the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center.
2014 proposed budget shows decrease in debt
The first draft of the proposed 2014 budget for the City of Duncan reflects a decline in debt and an increase in reserves.
Tuesday, members of the Duncan City Council reviewed the tentative budget, while City Manager Jim Frieda and City Financial Director Patti Clift discussed trends in the budgeting session and within various departments.
Police investigate theft at Cameron Measurements
Duncan police officers are investigating theft of steel stock and a 2006 Ford F-350 float bed pickup truck from Cameron Measurements.
Police are looking for three individuals who broke into the industrial business around 9 p.m. Sunday. The incident was reported before 8 a.m. Monday.
Two nights left to bid on Christmas Auction items
If you haven’t viewed the Christmas Auction yet this year, there are only two more nights to check out the many items up for bid.
Bids will be taken for various items from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. tonight and tomorrow and live viewing can be watched on Duncan Channel 10 or at duncanauction.org. Though several items have been sold, there are still plenty to catch your eye.
Outstanding warrant issued for third man in Comanche home invasion
Six felony charges have been filed and an outstanding warrant issued for a third Walters man thought to be involved in a January home invasion in Comanche.
Andrew Glenn Travis, 26, was identified by one of the arrested men as having driven the two men Jan. 29, to and from the home invasion. Charges against Travis include conjoin robbery, burglary in the first and second degrees, two charges of conspiracy, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. His bond has been set at $50,000.
Filing period ends, elections imminent
Marlow City Council, and Bray-Doyle and Central High school board will all have elections, while a new member will join the Duncan Board of Education uncontested.
The filing period for various school board positions and two Marlow City Council ward seats began Monday morning at the Stephens County Election Board Office. The period closed at 5 p.m. Wednesday. The election for those positions will be Feb. 11, 2014.
Demetra Cox was the only person to file for Office No. 4 of the Duncan Board of Education. The position is held by Lisa Presgrove, who has been on the board longer than any of the board’s other members.
Duncan man faces charge of bringing contraband into jail
A Duncan man, arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, received further charges after arriving at the Stephens County Jail, including the felony charge of introduction of controlled dangerous substance to penal facility.
Andrew Clint McCormick, 22, was arrested Friday, after being pulled over for speeding and failing to pass various sobriety tests. Officer Jason Downs was the arresting officer in the case against McCormick.
- More Local News Headlines
- Golden Corral building remains vacant