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House 43 and House 60 election candidates Q&A session

Mike Bounds

House District 43 election race – Mike Bounds

Question: How are you qualified for the position?

Answer: “I am qualified for this position for 3 primary reasons. 1. I have life experience decades beyond my opponent. Just like many of you, I know what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck and have felt the burden of massive health care bills. I have built a business from the ground up, and have raised my family in our community. I have lived the American Dream, and I see this becoming more and more difficult for every day Oklahomans. 2. I am the only pro-public education candidate in House District 43 and I have been endorsed by Oklahomans For Public Education – a grassroots parent/teacher public education advocacy group. Every child has the right to a quality education no matter what. We must protect our public schools, our students, and our teachers to ensure the future of our state. 3. I am not a career politician, my campaign has been about teachers, education, and the people of House District 43. I have outworked each of my opponents on the doors. You deserve a representative who will work hard for you rather than for themselves and special interest groups.”

Q: What will you bring to the position?

A: “I will bring a strong and reasonable voice for education to our state capitol. I am not a career politician, and I won’t cave to special interest groups like my opponent. It is our current legislators, my opponent included, who are part of the problem. Politicians at the state capitol for the last several years have ignored the needs of the people, choosing their own self-interests and special interest groups as their priority. As your next state representative, I will listen to you as I have shown throughout this entire campaign and work to better education, our community, and our state.”

Q: Why should people vote for you?

A: “The people of HD43 should vote for me because I chose to run for each of you. I have a successful career, I have raised a family, am active in my church, and it was time to step up to make a difference. I hear my wife, who is a career public school teacher, come home and tell me all of the challenges she and her students face. Our children and our public schools are the training ground for the future of our state and country. They deserve so much more than our current legislature has given. We don’t need politicians, we need smart and successful people at our state capitol who have the best interests of our people in mind. I am a Democrat, but as my wife Debbie always says, “Please don’t put me in a box.” I have more friends and campaign volunteers who are Republicans because we know this is not a Republican or Democratic issue, we are facing Oklahoma issues. My agenda is about the people of Mustang and Yukon, bettering our schools, our communities, and our quality of life. We have a budget crisis in our state, and it is politicians like my opponent who have gotten us there. He brags about passing many pieces of legislation last session, yet we still have a budget crisis, still have health care problems, and still have struggling schools. It’s time for a change, and I represent that change.”

Q: How long have you lived in the district?

A: “I am a 1977 graduate of El Reno High School, and have lived in Canadian County for 40 years. My wife and I moved to Yukon in 1984 where we raised our family, and we have lived within a 2-mile radius in Yukon for over 32 years now.”

Q: What have you heard while campaigning are people’s concerns in the district?

A: “The reoccurring themes that I have heard while knocking thousands of doors in House District 43 are education funding, health care, and prison reform. People know that our schools, children, and our teachers are being asked to do too much with too little. Our citizens are also seeing health care costs rise, and specifically our older adults who are on a fixed income fear the rising costs of health care. I have also talked to many people who have family members who are impacted by the prison system. We have to start listening to our citizens and be the voice for the people in our districts rather than special interest groups. People are sick of politics and politicians, it is obvious. I have personally knocked on thousands of doors, and my campaign, which includes dozens of teacher volunteers, has knocked several thousand doors. Our district and our state deserve a candidate who works hard and listens to the people, and I represent that candidate for House District 43.”

J.P. Jordan

House District 43 election race – J.P. Jordan

Question: How are you qualified for the position?

Answer: “Over these past two years, I have been honored to serve as your Representative in the Oklahoma House.  To me, serving in the Legislature is a calling and not something I take lightly. I did not decide to run for this office on a whim, but spent time preparing myself to serve.  I saw problems, prepared myself for the fight and jumped on the front lines working on behalf of the people of this community even before running for office. As a former public school teacher, I understand first-hand the problems educators and parents face in Oklahoma. In addition, while an adjunct professor at Redlands Community College, I saw what happens when we send our children to college unprepared. Moreover, while teaching, I became aware of the hazards of bureaucracy in the form of Oklahoma’s DHS system. Because of these frustrations, I made the decision to attend law school to become an advocate for others. I attended the OU College of Law to learn how to read, write and interpret the law and how it affects the people I am entrusted to represent. In 2010, I opened the Jordan Law Firm.  Along with the typical cases that come with a general practice, I sought out unique and varied cases and fought to protect our Conservative Values.

These cases include:

Successfully winning an injunction to protect a 15 year old girl from being forced to have an abortion; Successfully filing a legal challenge that blocked Common Core from being implemented in Oklahoma; and Successfully winning an injunction against Obamacare on behalf of Oklahoma’s Christian Universities. This case was recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court this past April. My experiences in the classroom and the courtroom taught me how important it is to elect individuals that understand the difference between law and life. Finally, I am the only candidate with the experience and proven track record of success when it comes to common sense reform and protecting our Conservative Values.”

Q: What will you bring to the position?

A: “I bring both leadership and experience. I have a track record of success when it comes to common sense reforms and protecting Conservative Values and principles. When I was elected in 2014, I promised to be a work horse and not a show horse.   I have done exactly that.  When elected, I only hoped to have accomplished so much in such a short time.  I have successfully passed 15 bills that have been signed into law. Most notably I have passed the following into law: HB 3039 – Debt to Society Act is a measure that allows counties to develop work release programs for nonviolent misdemeanor offenders who would otherwise be sitting in the county jail.  A judge would have to sign off on the work order.  Instead of housing an inmate for 30 days, they would have to work for 30 days in this program.  Instead of the public paying all the cost associated with housing an inmate, we could be allowing them to work in order to serve time. SB 292 – Defined “Failure to Protect” in our laws.  Overall this bill helps to stop child abuse and ensures that more abusers are reported and children are protected. HB 3024 – Provided a way for victims of online identity theft (called “Catfishing”) to protect themselves in civil court.  This legislation has been recognized as the first in the Nation and copies have been requested by other states for implementation. HB 3025 – Helps to ease the teacher shortage by allowing for additional entry points for those wishing to pursue a teaching certificate through the alternative certification process. I also bring leadership when working with other members of the Legislature.  In addition to writing my own bills, I have worked with several members to correct their legislation. I understand how to sit down and negotiate on behalf of others to reach a consensus.  Right after being elected, I was named the Vice Chair of the House Government Oversight & Accountability Committee. I have been endorsed and supported by the NRA, OK2A, Oklahoma Retired Educators Association, Oklahoma Public Employees Association and the State Chamber. Finally, I have made myself accessible and accountable to this community.  I strive to provide honest answers to the people I am privileged to serve, and to always have your best interest at heart.”

Q: Why should people vote for you?

A: “Over these past two years, I have proven myself to be a strong conservative leader in this State. I have worked tirelessly to advocate for the Christian Conservative Values of Canadian County.  I have authored and co-authored legislation to protect your Religious Liberty, State Rights and Second Amendment Rights. I am 100% Pro-Life and I have worked diligently to protect our children.  Since being elected, I have authored and passed several bills to help stop child abuse and molestation. I am the only candidate that is an Educator and understands first-hand the problems our schools face.  Before being elected I successfully fought for parents and teachers against Common Core in front of the Oklahoma Supreme Court.  Since being elected, I have served on the House Common Education committee where I have advocated for education being our state’s top priority. Finally, I have been tested and stood firm. It has been a difficult time for Oklahoma as we have suffered through a sharp decline in the oil and gas industry which has negatively affected most areas of our economy.  Many short sighted and liberally minded people saw this as an opportunity to attempt to saddle you, the tax payer, with even more debt.  I do not subscribe to this line of thinking and fought hard against those proposals. This past year I took a stand and voted against the budget due to the increase in indebtedness, lack of tax reform and increased cuts to core functions of government.  I refused to vote for a budget that would unnecessarily put Oklahoma further in debt and one which would create a structural deficit of nearly half a billion dollars.  Even with this election threatened I refused to compromise. Your vote counts and can continue to shape the future of our state.  It is not enough to just talk about what needs to change in our government.  It’s time to stand, be accountable and take action. On Tuesday, I ask you cast your vote again for John Paul Jordan.  I am confident that together we will continue to make a difference, bringing positive conservative change to Oklahoma.”

Q: How long have you lived in the district?

A: “In 1982, my family moved to the Yukon/Mustang area, when I was a year old.  I have lived here my whole life basically.  I am a graduate of Mustang High School and my wife and I have lived in Downtown Yukon for almost 6 years.”

Q: What have you heard while campaigning are people’s concerns in the district?

A: “As I have been out knocking doors and campaigning I have heard many of the concerns folks here in Yukon have.  What probably weighs heaviest on the minds of every voter is the Presidential Election.  Many voters are concerned about who is going to occupy the White House and how that will impact our Nation and Our State. In addition to who is elected President, voters are concerned about the government intruding into their daily lives. Many times I am thanked for my stances against Obamacare, the EPA and other attempts by the Federal Government to intrude into your daily life. Specifically, voters bring up the Second-Amendment frequently.  With Secretary Clinton’s statements, many voters have been concerned about their Second-Amendment rights being infringed.  They are encouraged to learn that I have personally run and passed into law two bills requested and endorsed by the NRA and OK2A. The next issue that tends to come up is the economy.  Many of our friends and neighbors that work in the oil and gas industry have had work slowdown or have lost their jobs entirely.  As I speak with them they are encouraged to find that I have personally met with oil and gas companies in an attempt to keep jobs here in Oklahoma. Another topic that comes up quite often is Education Funding and Policies. There is concern about transparency in Education spending and making sure we prioritize our schools and not a government agency. Both parents and teachers support common sense reforms that will put more money directly in the classroom and provide for local control of our schools. Right up there with Education is Public Safety.  With the attacks being made on law enforcement, it’s important to the people of Yukon to ensure that law enforcement is supported.  With a brother in law enforcement it’s important to me that our Troopers, Deputies and Police Officers have the resources needed to keep us safe. Finally, I am asked quite a bit regarding the State Ballot Questions.  Many constituents have reached out to me regarding the numerous state questions on this year’s ballot.  As the spokesman for SQ 776 and SQ 790, I encourage voters to vote Yes on those questions when they cast their vote for John Paul Jordan November 8th.”

Dennis Purifoy

House District 60 election race – Dennis Purifoy

Question: How are you qualified for the position?

Answer: “I had a 40-year career with the Social Security Administration in Oklahoma, so I’ve worked in government serving Oklahomans. I was a manager for 30 of those years, and I worked with other federal and state agencies, and with Indian governments. I know about budgeting. I know how to work with people of varied backgrounds. I know about leadership and how to get things done with other people. As a survivor of the Murrah Building bombing, I saw how all the levels of government worked together, and I was involved in the planning for the Memorial. Later, I served for 6 years on the Memorial Board of Trustees, working with community leaders and elected officials. I’ve served in leadership positions at my church, and volunteered in the community. So, I have a lot of various experience and capabilities as my qualifications.

Q: What will you bring to the position?

A: “First, I’ll bring a passion for serving the people of District 60 and fairly representing them at the Capitol. Second, I’ll bring a non-partisan approach, rather than following a pre-determined partisan agenda. There is too much partisanship at the Capitol and I’ll work with Republicans and Democrats. I’ll be an independent voice.”

Q: Why should people vote for you?

A: “People should vote for me because my top priority is a better budget for education. It’s easy for a candidate to say “I support education”, but I’m willing to make the tough choices for better funding. “People should vote for me because I’m the candidate for change at the State Capitol. If people don’t want more of the same, they should vote for me. I’ve run a grass-roots campaign, getting most of my contributions from people like your readers. My opponent has received $26,900 from special interest PACs, and almost $2000 from lobbyists. If elected, I won’t need lobbyists to buy my meals. I will return phone calls and emails, and have an open door at the Capitol. I’ll listen to constituents, and I will consider myself to be the employee of the voters in District 60.”

Q: How long have you lived in the district?

A: “My family has called Yukon home since 1992. My wife and I are both native Oklahomans, with roots going back before statehood.”

Q: What have you heard while campaigning are people’s concerns in the district?

A: “Education is the number 1 concern; voters are concerned about losing teachers, about larger class sizes, old text books, more school fund-raisers, etc. The state budget is a big concern; people are very aware of the cuts to DHS, Highway Patrol, mental health, law enforcement, and roads and bridges, just to name a few agencies cut. But we can improve the budget without hurting the middle class. Some are concerned with 2nd amendment rights, which I support. Overall, people are ready for a responsible legislature that will meet the challenges we face, and not kick the can down the road. Oklahomans are ready for results, not more rhetoric.”

Rhonda Baker

House District 60 election race – Rhonda Baker

Question: Question: How are you qualified for the position?

Answer: “I have been an educator in the community for 18+ years and a small business owner for 15+ years. I work with parents, students, educators and administrators from all backgrounds on a daily basis to come up with solutions to make our students and school system better. Through my experiences, I have seen the highs and lows of Oklahoma’s educational system. I know what works for our teachers and students, and I know what doesn’t. These experiences are invaluable and cannot be taught, they can only be experienced. This will allow me to work with all leaders across party lines to come up with solutions that will not only impact our educational system, but our businesses, infrastructure, health care systems and agricultural industry and economy. I am also sympathetic to the needs to small business owners. My husband and I own Advanced Sprinklers and we understand the struggles that mandates place on small business.”

Q: What will you bring to the position?

A: “I bring a wealth of knowledge on education, business and industry and agriculture to the table, as well as strong family values. I am a mother to three children who have grown up in this district. Throughout my life, one of my strongest assets has been being able to work with a wide range of people and personalities. I believe this is a trait that is crucial to this position. I am a listener and a studier. I like to do my research and hear all opinions on a topic before I make a decision, and I also believe this is a crucial trait to have while serving as a legislator. I want to listen to the constituents of this district and hear their needs so I can better serve everyone.”

Q: Why should people vote for you?

A: “I am the most experienced candidate in this race when it comes to education, business and industry and agriculture. I am currently in the workforce and see and hear the day to day needs of the co-workers around me. I am a member of the working class, and I entered this race because I saw a need in our state and I want to make a difference for our children and families. I want individuals to work and thrive in a better Oklahoma.”

Q: How long have you lived in the district?

A: “I have lived in the district for 34 years.”

Q: What have you heard while campaigning are people’s concerns in the district?

A: “When knocking on doors, the main concerns I have heard surround our educational system and our economy. These are tied hand in hand. Oklahomans deserve opportunities that will allow them to use their education and make an impact in our workforce. We need entrepreneurs to stay in our state and open businesses. We need our young adults to want to stay in Oklahoma and raise their families here. Lastly, we need our wonderful educators to stay in Oklahoma and do what they do best – make a difference in the lives of our children. We must also diversify our economy so that we are not so reliant on a single industry. We have to focus on these issues so we can secure a better future for all Oklahomans.”

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