By RICK WEST
Many of you know me and know that I am a man of my word. While serving as your State Representative from 2016 – 2018, I worked hard to set a new level of accountability for elected officials to our community. I tried to treat you the way I wanted to be treated. That was why I began weekly articles in the local news outlets, spent time on KPRV each week discussing the issues, and kept Friday office hours to listen to people who dropped by. I studied and researched each bill that came up for a vote. I checked to see how people in Le Flore County, not big money organizations, wanted me to vote.
It was not easy to ‘vote my district’ each time as it often meant going against “leadership’ or stepping away from solutions I knew might bring other benefits later on. By that I mean that ‘going along’ in the legislature is how members move up in influential committees and power relationships. It was, however, the right thing to do and it let me look everyone back home, right in the eye, and tell the truth about what was happening.
I decided then that I had to be diligent about PAC (Political Action Committees), lobbyist gratuities or special interest money because their influence starts out soft but their aim is to rope you in close so that you work only for them.
I am announcing my candidacy for Oklahoma State Representative, District 3, and I will not take any PAC, lobbyist, or special interest money. I am not a billionaire, or even a millionaire, and I need financial help to do this, but it will have to come from the ordinary people of Le Flore County who want me to represent them…and no one else. I will represent my district and no place else.
There are some additional issues that I have outlined as being of importance for Le Flore County in the next two years. In 2020, the cultural pressure to centralize government and eliminate local input or authority is at the core of most of the upcoming decisions and changes. I believe the best and most productive government is the government that is closet to the people. Therefore, I will work with you to:
- Protect parental control and influence in our schools as well as local decision making by local boards rather than state or federal departments.
- Maintain open lines of defense in the constant battle in OKC to consolidate school districts as the only solution for efficient rural schools.
- Work with our county elected officials and state agencies to create and enforce proven solutions that protect our beautiful, heritage landscape while simultaneously supporting residential and commercial land development.
- Support the unique needs and challenges of our first-responder community.
- Protect large- and small-scale ranching from detrimental and costly regulations.
- Protect Le Flore County first responders, their unique skills, and their need for significant supplemental help in order to deliver the fine service that they do every day.
- Support local tourism and all of its related service businesses through state agencies, monies from state tourism, publications and continued outreach to potential audiences for Spiro Mounds, Wister Lake, and Rune Stone Park.
- Support and inform Veterans in Le Flore County, as if they are an institution or department, because Vets are one of Le Flore County resources.
Because we are living in extraordinary times that have redefined normal communication, I genuinely invite you to contact me with any question or concerns that you might have. Thank you for your support.
Remember, the most important action you can take is to vote for me on June 30th in the Primary and again on Nov. 3rd in the General Election.
God Bless America
47152 Walker Mountain Road, Heavener, OK 74937