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October 11, 2012

Candidates talk issues to Velma crowd

VELMA — 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:

State Senate

District 43:

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.”

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4-24 Velma Team Roping Kids.jpg

Velma teens Brodie Williams, left, and Tyler Ray took home a team roping victory from the Heart of Oklahoma Youth Rodeo Association.

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