Eliminating the state sales tax on groceries is one way both candidates for House District 36 say could provide relief to Oklahoma families. But only at the state level.
“I’m only talking about the state portion. I know the towns have to have their portion to survive because in most cases it’s the biggest revenue source in the community,” said John George, the retired police detective and Fraternal Order of Police chairman from Newalla.
Anita Raglin, a family business owner from Harrah also says the grocery sales tax should be eliminated. “Our state has never been in a better financial place than now. So why not give back to the people, and help everyone out during this recession we are experiencing,
“Anything our elected officials can do to help Oklahomans get through these difficult times, I’m all for. I would like to study anything that is being proposed,” she said.
Raglin and George are in a Republican primary run-off on Tuesday, Aug. 23.
A bill to for a two-year cut on the 4.5 percent portion of the state sales tax on groceries passed the House earlier this summer during a Special Session. The State Senate did not take up the measure though, so the measure is dormant. Gov. Kevin Stitt had pitched the grocery sales tax cut as part of his State of the State address back in February, claiming it would save Oklahoma families about $500 a year.
Speaking of the Governor, George’s campaign touted an endorsement from Stitt.
“I am backing John George for the State House because he is an America First conservative who supports principles of faith and freedom. He will empower parents in our education system, lower taxes, defend the Second Amendment, support public safety, and stand for traditional Oklahoma values. He spent a career honorably serving the citizens as an Oklahoma City police officer, homicide detective, and president of the Fraternal Order of Police,” said the Republican governor.
Although Raglin claims similar political positions, she said the Governor did not reach out to find out more about her campaign.
“It’s okay,” she said good-naturedly. “He doesn’t vote in my district!”
With the election just a week away, candidates were required to post pre-runoff election campaign reports.
George has collected a reported $127,415 in money and in-kind donations. Since the June pre-primary report, he raised $36190 with $28,500 of it coming from Political Action Committees.
Interesting donations include $1,000 from the Republican nominee for Attorney General, Gentner Drummond, and $500 from former Attorney General Mike Hunter who resigned while in office. Other PAC contributions are from Wellston’s Marathon PAC, chaired by Thomas Tillison, for $2,000, plus $10,000 each from the Oklahoma City Firefighters Association, OKC FOP, and Norman FOP. He also received $1,000 from the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce.
George has sent $83,943.58 to his campaign consultant, CAMP from Oklahoma City.
Raglin reported contributions of $19,505, with the bulk of recent donations from individuals from Harrah, Jones, or Newalla. She has spent $10,000 with her consultant, HPPC of Harrah.
In the last days of the campaign, both candidates can be seen meeting voters up and down the district across Eastern Oklahoma County. The winner of the Tuesday election wins the seat and takes office in January.