NORMAN — Norman NEXT hosted a forum for the Senate District 15 and House District 45 candidates at the Norman Chamber of Commerce.
State Senate District 15 is an open seat being vacated by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, who is term limiting out this session. Democrat Claudia Griffith and Republican Rob Standridge are running for that position.
Republican Aaron Stiles currently has the State House District 45 seat and is being challenged by Democrat Paula Roberts.
Overall, candidates support transparency in government, believe the oil and gas industries are strong in Oklahoma but that diversity is needed and generally favor incentives to promote jobs if those incentives result in jobs. All opposed selling tax incentives.
Following are some highlights from the forum.
Senate District 15:
Griffith introduced herself as a registered nurse with a master’s degree in public health. She said Norman is truly her home — she graduated from Norman High and raised her kids here. She attends the First Baptist church and is an entrepreneur.
“I am service oriented,” Griffith said. “I am a problem solver. I believe in successful collaboration.
“I’m all about creating jobs,” Griffith said, adding that she wants to increase education funding.
“We can’t do anything in our state if we don’t have jobs, education and health,” Griffith said. “I think we need lots of incentives and lots of programs for jobs.”
Griffith said it’s important to protect families and small business when making tax cuts.
“I think everyone loves tax cuts. Who wants to increase taxes?” Griffith said. “We need to be very careful and study the cause and effect.”
Griffith said she thinks more women need to be in the Senate. Having more women in government creates a different dialogue.
“I want to work to find solutions and not blame,” she said.
Standridge said he believes people who live in the real world building a business and raising a family are needed in government. Standridge is an entrepreneur and a businessman.