NORMAN — Two Republicans are vying in the upcoming primary election to represent House District 45 in east Norman: Aaron Stiles, incumbent who currently holds the seat, and Derick Jensen, who has worked frequently as a substitute teacher and adjunct professor.
The GOP winner in the June 26 primary race will face Democrat Paula Roberts in the November general election. Roberts served as secretary of the Cleveland County Election Board for 22 years.
Stiles said Oklahoma leaders should not judge the economic needs of Oklahoma by what other states, like California, are experiencing, such as huge budget shortfalls.
Stiles served in the Oklahoma Air National Guard for eight years.
Jensen has worked for several years as a substitute teacher in the Norman Public Schools, and also has worked as an adjunct instructor at the University of Central Oklahoma.
In 2009 during the legislative session, Jensen worked as an assistant in the student pages’ program.
Roberts, the only Democrat in the race, said she is seeking a seat in the House because she is concerned that the “narrow agenda and radical idealogy” of Republicans “will hurt our state economically.”
When Roberts announced her candidacy in April, she said, “The political polarization in our current legislature is too destructive.”
All three candidates are from Norman. House District 45 contains almost all of Lake Thunderbird, where most of Norman’s growth is occurring.
Derick Jensen, 35, served as a Senate assistant for the pages’ program where high school students assist lawmakers during the 2009 session.
Jensen served for a year in the AmeriCorps performing public service by working with the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits. He received a master’s degree from UCO in 2009.
· Education needs he has learned about, because his wife is a longtime elementary school teacher and he has worked as a substitute teacher. With increasing class sizes, teachers should have assistants “when classes are over 22 students,” he said.