CommunityElection 2018

Oklahoma County District One: Meet the Democrats

On June 26, Luther Democrats will vote for a county commission candidate who will represent District One on the three-member panel that meets in Oklahoma City. Currently held by Willa Johnson, who is retiring, there are four Democrats on the ballot for the job that comes with about a $105,000 salary and an office in downtown Oklahoma City.

The Democrats are: Carrie Blumert, Ben Janloo, Al McAffrey and John Pettis. Pettis, who was endorsed by the outgoing Commissioner Willa Johnson, currently faces felony embezzlement charges and is not campaigning although his name appears on the ballot.

Sample ballot

The Luther Register reached out to the candidates and heard back from Blumert and Janloo. McAffrey did not respond although he visited Luther briefly recently. Both Blumert and Janloo have been to Luther. All of the candidates say they live in Oklahoma City.

District one includes Luther, Spencer, Jones, Del City, NE OKC and reaches all of the way to MacArthur Blvd in OKC.

Our email Questions and Answers with Blumert and Janloo are below. Look for a similar Q&A with the Republican candidates, Brad Reeves and Chad Albee.

Candidate Carrie Blumert


LR: What is your name and current job?
Carrie Blumert, I currently work for the Oklahoma City-County Health Department managing our community partnerships and directing our Wellness Now Coalition.

LR: What are you telling voters about the job of County Commissioner?
CB: When I am knocking on doors, I frequently educate voters on the responsibilities of a county commissioner. These responsibilities include overseeing county criminal justice matters (including our jail and our juvenile center), county roads and bridges, and county-funded social services.

LR: What are voters telling you about their concerns?
CB: The county jail is the #1 concern among voters that I have talked with. They are worried about the conditions, as well as the overcrowding and the treatment of our inmates. Voters will ask why so many deaths have occurred over the past couple of years within the jail. They are also concerned about the lack of mental health services for those involved in our criminal justice system.

LR: In the rural parts of District One, what has been revealed as the greatest concern(s)?CB:Rural residents want to make sure that their roads and bridges are safe. Rural roads and bridges should be as safe and well-maintained as city roads, and no one should have to worry about making it to work or their kids making it to school because of inadequate roads.

LR: From inner-city OKC, to a Town like Luther with a volunteer fire department, aging water and sewer systems and a small police force – the breadth of District One is varied! How will you key in on representing the rural areas?
CB: I will continue to listen to voters from across Oklahoma County and make sure their opinions and concerns are heard in county government. I look forward to building on these relationships over the four-year term. As I am not from rural Oklahoma County, I will depend on these voters to voice their concerns so I can represent them well.

LR: What are issues facing EASTERN Oklahoma County?
CB: I have been knocking on doors on the east and west sides of my district, and consistently hear that the jail is voters’ #1 concern. I recognize that residents of Luther want a seat at the table and want to be included in decision-making in county government.

LR:  What is your impression of Luther?
CB: Luther is a tight-knit town with residents that support one another. 

LR: Some readers said they’d like to know your thoughts on property taxes – some say they are too high!
CB: Property taxes are a vital source of revenue for county government. We cannot properly fund our criminal justice system, our social services, and our roads and bridges without adequate property taxes. I understand some residents are concerned. I plan to listen to those concerns and make sure we are responsibly using their tax dollars.

LR: What else should I be asking?
CB: I have been knocking on doors for almost a year and have knocked almost 6,000 doors. I feel that I am the only candidate that has spent time listening to thousands of voters’ concerns and can truly articulate what the voters’ concerns are about county government.

Candidate: Ben M. Janloo

photo provided

LR:  What is your name and current job?

My name is Ben M. Janloo and I own several businesses in District 1.

LR: What are you telling voters about the job of County Commissioner?

BJ: The truth! That being the county commissioner has many responsibilities from maintaining the construction of roads and bridges. We’re also over the auditing for the accounts of our county officers. And also overseeing the department of human services.

LR: What are voters telling you about their concerns?
BJ:  Many residents in District 1 have similar complaints from improving our roads, highways, and bridges. Expressing if we had better roads we could also have better employment opportunities. Also improving our public transportation.

LR: In the rural parts of District One, what has been revealed as the greatest concern(s)?
BJ: To improve the economy to offer better employment opportunities to the community.

LR: From inner-city OKC, to a Town like Luther with a volunteer fire department, aging water and sewer systems and a small police force -the breadth of District One is varied! How will you key in on representing the rural areas?
BJ: Bring District 1 into the 21st century with improved sewage, water, and roads. Increase employment opportunities for better employment through the establishment of vo-tech education system in District 1.
LR: What are issues facing EASTERN Oklahoma County?
BJ: Roads, bridges, poverty, education, and unemployment opportunities.

LR: What is your impression of Luther?
BJ: A community full of ambitious people. A town with a lot of potential.
LR: Some readers said they’d like to know your thoughts on property taxes – some say they are too high! 

 BJ: I do not believe in raising property taxes but I do believe we need to manage and utilize the income more efficiently. And if that works than possibly lowering property taxes.

LR: What else should I be asking?
BJ: I also think we should be asked about our senior citizens, juvenile problem, and the needs of the impoverished.

 

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