Local Candidates Stop in Luther
Down Ballot Campaign Event Tuesday
The candidates who want to represent Luther at the State House of Representatives and Oklahoma County government are appearing in Luther Tuesday evening. The candidate meet and greet event is sponsored by The Luther Register and Mitchell Talks.
Every candidate except one accepted the invitation to appear at The Chicken Shack event from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. Voters and residents who come will have the opportunity to meet the candidates, ask questions and hear a short stump speech from each of them.
For State Representative. House District 96 covers a district that includes affluent east Edmond plus Arcadia, Luther, Jones and parts of Choctaw and Harrah. Republican Lewis Moore of Arcadia has held the seat since 2009. He is the Assistant Minority Whip, chair of the Insurance committee and serves on the A&B Judiciary, Elections, Ethics and Transportation.
His Democratic challenger is political newcomer and Edmond attorney Kathy Wallis.
“I am running for the Oklahoma House of Representatives because we have serious issues facing our state and need representation that will work for all Oklahomans. We deserve a representative that will serve Oklahoma with leadership, courage and the experience to take effective action for our district and state,” quoted from her campaign website.
The next watched campaign on the “down ballot” is the contested race to become the new Oklahoma County District One Commissioner. Democrat Carrie Blumert and Republican Brad Reeves are both political newcomers who are vying to take the seat long held by retiring Commissioner Willa Johnson.
Oklahoma County District 1 stretches from far Northeastern Oklahoma County to just West of Downtown Oklahoma City. It includes all or part of the communities of Del City, Lake Aluma, Oklahoma City, Forest Park, Jones, Luther, Midwest City, and Spencer.
The three-member Board of County Commissioners is responsible for roads and bridges and serves as the governing board for many county functions. Commissioners also serve on the County Budget Board. The Assessor, Clerk, Court Clerk, Sheriff and Treasurer also serve on the County Budget Board.
Commissioners work in partnership with municipalities within their district including school districts, businesses, and public service agencies. Part of their responsibilities in the community include working to improve the Oklahoma County Jail, the Oklahoma County Juvenile Justice System, and Oklahoma County Social Services.
Oklahoma County Treasurer. Only one of the candidates for Oklahoma County Treasurer is appearing in Luther. Democrat Daniel Chae has mounted a campaign against longtime Republican Butch Freeman who has held the seat for 25 years.
Chae is known for his restaurant ventures, including All About Cha. He is an entrepreneur, former human services specialist and workforce developer who says the county needs new energy to tackle persistent problems.
Freeman declined the invitation to attend the Luther event.
The Treasurer’s primary function is to collect taxes certified by the County Assessor from the assessment valuations placed on real estate, personal property, and public utilities in the County. The Treasurer also sits on the county’s powerful budget board that makes decisions about county government spending, including the controversial Oklahoma County Jail.
Oklahoma County Assessor. There are two new candidates for Oklahoma County Assessor. Republican Larry Stein has served under outgoing Assessor Leonard Sullivan. The Democratic challenger is former state lawmaker Mike Shelton.
Shelton represented HD 97 for 12 years and before that worked in Oklahoma County government for former commissioner Jim Roth. His assessor campaign has focused on four points: ”Ensure taxpayer dollars go to our public schools, protect neighborhoods and clean up abandoned properties, prevent increasing property taxes on senior citizens and stop corporate giveaways of taxpayer dollars.”
As deputy assessor, Stein says he has managed a nearly $7 million budget and 78 full time employees responsible for the “complicated process of setting fair market values of more than 300,000 parcels of property in Oklahoma County. The assessor also is responsible for working on the $62 million county budget.” Stein was first hired by former Assessor Mike Means 17 years ago. Stein also has worked in the media as a host and reporter, and also in Republican politics.
Bring your questions to the event Tuesday from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. If you cannot attend, watch the highlights on Facebook Live at Luther Register.