This election year we are replacing State Representative Lee Denney who is currently Speaker Pro Tempore of the State House of Representatives, who is term limited. We are also replacing Dr. Halligan District 21 State Senator, is retiring after this term as well. So we have open seats for all of our state representation in Cushing and Payne County. Who are the candidates for these offices?
Parker is an Oklahoma State alumna and has been married to her husband, Joey, for 25 years. They have two children, Joel, who is a mechanical engineering major, and Lauren, a physiology (pre-med) major, both currently attending OSU. The Parkers attend Sunnybrook Christian Church in Stillwater. Parker was an educator for 16 years.
Babinec a long time business franchise owner of McDonald's in Cushing has also thrown his hat into the race. Babinec and his wife of 30 years, Shanda reside in Cushing with their two daughters Allisha and Ava. Allisha attends the University of Oklahoma, where she majors in Communication.
Both Candidates describe the issues Oklahoma faces, and especially note the budget short-falls in education funding.
Parker and Babinec will face off on the June 28th Republican Primary, to see who will take on the Democratic & Libertarian challenger, in the fall.
The race for the District 21 State Senate seat to replace Dr. Jim Halligan will be decided in the June primary, as there is no Democrat or Libertarian challenger for the seat.
Dugger is an Oklahoma State University graduate and has received several business and accounting awards, including being recognized by the university as a Distinguished Accounting Alumnus in 2005. Dugger was president of the Stillwater Exchange Club and has served on the boards of several organizations, including the Stillwater Chapter of the American Red Cross, Matthew 25:40 Mission, Inc., and Turning Point Ranch therapeutic riding program.
Najera was born in Chicago, Illinois to a struggling, single mother who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when he was seven years old. He says she showed him the value of hard work and did her best but they were forced to rely on food stamps and subsidized housing to survive. At some point, they moved to Ponca City. He was only 14 when his mother died.
Najera said he moved in with a family member who turned out to be a drug dealer and knew that was a situation he didn't want to be in, so he moved around, staying with one friend or another until he met the Myers family during his senior year of high school.Sen. David Myers and his wife Sara made Najera part of their family and became his surrogate parents.
There will be much more to learn about all of these candidates prior to the June 28th primaries.We will get their views on the issues pressing District 21 and District 33 in the weeks to come. Get educated on the candidates views of the issues, but most importanly, get out and vote.