When voters in Yukon go to the polls Tuesday, they will help settle which candidates will represent their parties in several federal, state and local races, including a pair of legislative races.
There are three legislative races on various ballots in Canadian County, including two that impact areas of Yukon.
In House District 43, Republican candidates Jay Steagall, who is a local business owner and member of the military, will face school teacher Crystal Duncan.
The two were the Republican candidates who received the most votes during the primary election in June.
The winner will face Chantele Cory, who won the primary by defeating Jacque Pearsall.
The seat is currently held by John Paul Jordan, who did not seek re-election. Instead, he is a candidate for Canadian County district judge. He will face Special Judge Jack McCurdy in the Nov. 6 general election.
Voters also will help decide the Republican candidate for District 47. Those candidates are Beverly Adams and Brian Hill.
Both are business people. Adams is a former teacher.
The seat currently is held by Leslie Osborn, who is seeking a seat on the state Labor Commission. She is being opposed by Cathy Costello, who is the widow of Labor Commissioner Mark Costello.
Mark Costello was slain by his son outside an Oklahoma City restaurant in 2015.
Meanwhile, a third legislative seat will be decided in the county.
Roxanne Pollard and Denise Crosswhite Hader are seeking the Republican nomination for House District 41. The seat is currently held by John Enns, who is term-limited.
On the Democratic side of the ballot are Sara Peterson and Jenni Scott.
In the primary, Peterson received 39.11 percent of the vote while Scott received 37.75 percent.
There are no county-specific races in the runoff election. There are, however, several state races, including governor, lieutenant governor, state auditor and inspector, attorney general, state school superintendent, corporation commissioners and labor commissioner.
At the federal level, Democrats will decide between Mary Brannon and Fred Gipson for House District 4.
That seat is currently held by Republican Tom Cole, who easily advanced to the general election.
Lower turnout expected for runoff election
Officials with the Canadian County Election Board said Thursday that they aren’t sure what to expect in the way of voter turnout for Tuesday’s runoff elections.
Election Board Secretary Wanda Armold said early voting began Thursday and was to continue through Saturday. However, turnout has only been steady.
“I don’t know what to expect. I look for the Democrat turnout to be low because there is not much on the ballot, and there is only one race for the Libertarians,” she said.
For Republicans, there are several statewide and local races to be considered, so Armold said turnout could be up a little.
Thursday appeared to be steady for early voting with pockets of people arriving throughout the day.
“We haven’t had any lines,” she said.
Armold said turnout for the runoff election is generally lower than for a primary or general election because there isn’t anything controversial on the ballot.
“It is usually pretty low,” she said.
All normal polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Those voting early can cast their ballot through Saturday at the election board office in El Reno.
Those voting absentee still have time to cast their ballots by mail. Armold said if a ballot is arriving by mail, it must be received by the time the U.S. Post Office closes on Thursday. If voters are delivering their ballots by hand, it must be received by the end of business Monday.
The number of people registered to vote in the election is 76,616, which is up about 605 from the total registered before the primary in June.
Armold said there also are a number of people who have sought to change their party affiliation. Those changes won’t occur until Sept. 1.
“A lot of people will think they have changed parties, but they have not,” she said.
The last day to make the affiliation change was April 1. The first day to begin making changes ahead of the general election is Sept. 1.
Also, Armold said each party will vote its own ballot, other than Independents, who will have the option of casting a Democratic ballot.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.
HD-43 hopefuls prepare for election
Voters in Yukon will go to the polls Tuesday to elect the Republican nominee for House seat District 43.
The two candidates are Crystal Duncan, a school teacher, and Jay Steagall, a local business owner.
The two advanced to the runoff by getting more votes than two other candidates, Micheal Oglesby and Max Martin.
The winner will face Chantell Cory in the general election on Nov. 6.
The seat is currently held by J.P Jordan, who is seeking a newly created district judge’s seat.
Prior to the primary election, the Yukon Review posed a number of questions to the candidates. Below are their responses:
Yukon Review: What do you see as the biggest issue facing the Oklahoma Legislature in its next session?
Crystal Duncan: Fiscal irresponsibility, mismanagement, waste and corruption and too many tax giveaways. We need to fix it and Republicans should have fixed this a long time ago. We need wholesale change at the state Capitol.
Jay Steagall: Budgetary accountability and responsible spending. We must reform and modernize government operations, so stop operating in crisis mode. It is critical that business owners serve as citizen legislators – equipped with the ability to understand profit and loss statements, manage budgets and know what policies and reforms need to be made to encourage new jobs, businesses, and economic growth. I will utilize my degree in agricultural economics, my 21 years of service — now a major in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, and experience in running my own successful business on Yukon’s Main Street, to achieve positive solutions for Oklahoma.
YR: Do you support the current method of funding education? Why?
CD: Why was the teacher pay raise based upon one industry, leaving education funding even more subjected to abrupt swings in market conditions? Funding should be localized with more flexibility offered to individual school districts.
JS: Funding is based on a formula established in the 1980s, with a mix of federal and state funds, and local revenue including property taxes. It is overdue to identify and implement reforms that can improve outcomes and resources to districts in this over 30-year old system. I do support 65 percent of funding being allocated to the classrooms, as the teachers and students must be top priority. I will work with education and business leaders to implement best practices for Oklahoma’s educational outcomes to lead, not lag, in outcomes and opportunities for Oklahomans.
YR: If elected what would your first action be?
CD: End the over-testing of students in classrooms; there are too many burdensome regulations on teachers and it needs to stop. Children should never be subjected to the socialists-type Common Core curriculum we used to have, and I will use my position to fight against these types of federal intrusions into our children’s lives. As a mother and teacher, I am passionate.
JS: As is needed with any business turnaround, I will work immediately to build a team approach through transparency, tactical assessments through research, audits, and tough questions of agencies to tackle the budget needs. Hard-working Oklahomans and business operators were forgotten, and decisions that affected businesses and lives were made by politicians, not by citizen-legislators with real-world business backgrounds and broad perspective on understanding consequences of actions. We cannot continue to put band-aid fixes on surgical-depth wounds to our economy. My core values are based on the Constitution and the Bible, and I will view all legislation through that lens.
YR: Why should I vote for you?
CD: Oklahoma needs new leadership, and not the kind that answers to labor unions, special interests, or to political insiders. I’m a very conservative educator, and disagreed with the walkout. I’m strongly for education and paying our teachers more, but there is a right way and a wrong way. I’m a wife, mom and the daughter of business owners, so my perspective is broader. I’m also proud to be a supporter of Donald Trump and will never be ashamed to say it.
JS: I am well-equipped for this position – over 21 years of military leadership and oath to protect our Constitution; Yukon business owner who has invested in the growth of our local economy; Agricultural Economics degree from OSU. I’m a person who will shoot straight with people, work with everyone, and will do my very best to implement solutions – we can’t keep talking. We now must start work to improve our state and make sure opportunities are available for Oklahomans to pursue. It’s all about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Adams, Hill in runoff for House District 47 GOP nomination
Beverly Adams and Brian Hill face each other in Tuesday’s primary election runoff for the Republican nomination for the Oklahoma House District 47 seat.
They will face Sarah Carnes, who won the Democratic nomination in the primary.
The district serves the Mustang and Tuttle areas and parts of Oklahoma City.
Leslie Osborn, who is seeking the office of labor commissioner, currently holds the seat.
Below are the candidate’s responses to questions from the Yukon Review.
What do you see as the biggest issue facing the Oklahoma Legislature in its next session?
Adams: The biggest issue is funding. Citizens of Oklahoma spend tax dollars in Oklahoma only to hear Oklahoma State budget is in a deficit. Why? Where is the money going? How is it being spent?
Our budget and our spending habits need to be transparent to the taxpayers. Every state agency needs a forensic audit to find out what is happening to the money that is being appropriated to each department.
Hill: In the midst of responding to the current financial crisis of an $800 million deficit, the Legislature must rebuild the public trust by seeking areas of waste and inefficiencies to make better use of the citizens’ tax dollars and ensure wise spending.
Do you support the current method of funding education? Why?
Adams: I do not have a problem placing gross production tax on funding education. It has to be done smartly. The GPT needs to be raised to 8 percent. We create an education budget based on 5 percent of the GPT and we set back the other 3 percent for when the GPT falls from year to year. Simple business budgeting principles.
Hill: I view education as Infrastructure. In the same way as our roads and bridges, when we fail to properly invest in our education system, we position our state’s future for “potholes,” such as an unprepared workforce.
I believe that HB1010xx was a necessary step in the right direction of investing in Oklahoma’s children. I believe that our next representative of House District 47 must look for longterm sustainable methods of broadening our tax base into the technology, manufacturing and aerospace sectors.
If elected what would your first action be?
Adams: Transparency, transparency, transparency. The citizens of Oklahoma must know where their tax dollars are going.
Hill: The next Representative of House District 47 must seek opportunities for economic growth for the future of our citizens.
As a business owner of 15 years, I believe in the necessity of a thriving diversified commerce base for the viability of our state.
I will work with the departments of commerce, tourism and labor to identify potential industries that would be a good match for Mustang and Tuttle, thereby producing longterm sustainable methods of broadening our tax base into the technology, manufacturing and aerospace sectors.
Why should I vote for you?
Adams: I am a conservative Republican, who is a business woman, a former teacher, a wife and a mother. I am not a career politician, nor do I plan to be.
I felt a calling that I can make a difference at the Capitol this next tern. I have a diverse background that can serve all Oklahomans.
I will go to the Capitol with my integrity, and I will leave with my integrity. will work across the aisle to make Oklahoma a top 10 state where education and educators are top priority, and our economy is more diversified than ever.
Hill: Our Oklahoma is in a position of crisis, and the solutions to move us in the right direction will not come easy. It is necessary for our next representative to have a broad view of the issues, not just a singular focus.
By seeking sustainable revenue opportunities throughout our state departments, I will be a pro-economic growth representative who will seek solutions to the issues we are facing.
I am a conservative Republican business owner with vast experience across multiple sectors.
I am endorsed by the NRA and the State Chamber of Commerce, and I am 100 percent pro-life.
I believe in local, and I will work for solutions to better fund our systems for longterm growth.