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Our Only Hope

In case all the political commercials, ads and yard signs haven’t clued you in, there is an election on Tuesday! The parties will be narrowing down their choices to run in the general election this fall. There are so many people running in some races, a runoff scheduled for August is likely.

I don’t need to remind anyone here — though clearly I am — that this year’s elections are important to public education, and therefore Putnam City Schools. If you don’t know your district or who your current elected officials are, please visit http://www.oklegislature.gov/FindMyLegislature.aspx before reading on so this blog will be more enjoyable for you.

The House

Due to term limits, we have an open seat in House District 82 and that race is full of candidates: one Democrat and 12 Republicans! Expect to vote again in August if you’re a Republican in that race.

Rep. Tammy West in District 84 drew no Republican challenger, so they will wait until November for that election, but the Democrats have a primary. Remember that registered Independents are allowed to vote in Democrat primaries this year. There will also be a Libertarian on the November ballot there.

Rep. Cyndi Munson from District 85 drew no Democrat challenger, and there’s only one Republican so no election until November in that race.

Voters in District 87 have the least work to do because Rep. Collin Walke not only missed having a Democrat challenger; he has none from any other party and is therefore automatically elected to his second term.

District 90’s Rep. Jon Echols won’t be on June’s ballot either, but he does have a Democrat challenging him in November.

Our other open seat is District 100, in which there are two Democrats and three Republicans, so there will be primary elections on Tuesday for all.

The Senate

We will also have a new person in Senate District 30 because David Holt became Oklahoma City’s mayor. That race has both Democrat and Republican candidates, so be at the polls Tuesday, please.

One other senator in the Putnam City Caucus, Dr. Ervin Yen of District 40, has not only a primary but also a general election challenger. There are two Democrats, one Republican, and an Independent vying for his seat.

The Governor

All three parties have multiple candidates on the ballot in this race, but the Republicans have the most with 10 people hoping to replace Gov. Mary Fallin. Primaries for everyone here — and runoffs.

Not only do I encourage you to do some research on the people who could serve in these offices, I beg you to do it. We in public education need the help of every person who says education is important to them to go to the polls in June, August, and November. Do these candidates support smaller class sizes, teacher pay equity, and innovative curriculum for our children? Do they recognize the damage that is being done by the teacher shortfall? If you can’t tell from their websites, please call and ask until they give you an answer that is definitive.

Nothing short of our state’s future depends on whom we elect this year.

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