Democrat Steve Barnes is running in the May 9th, 2017 special election for the Oklahoma House of Representatives District 28 seat. This seat became vacant when Republican Tom Newell resignation to take a position in the private sector. Along with Barnes Republican Zack Taylor and with Libertarian Cody Presley will also be on the special election ballot.
Typically this is a traditionally Republican-held seat that in the past hasn’t even been in play. But 2017 is showing to be anything but traditional. The primary results showed only a 140 vote total difference in favor of Republicans and with this election probably having a low turn out anything can happen.
Steve served in law enforcement after high school with the Wewoka Police Department and went on to work as a state trooper with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Upon graduating from the University of Tulsa, he worked as a Public Defender and then as Assistant District Attorney.
“Steve is also committed to accountability and transparency in the legislature. In speaking with OKJC [Oklahoma Justice Coalition], he raised his special concern with the decision by former Republican leadership in the House to use taxpayer funds to pay a confidential settlement of a sexual-harassment suit against former Representative Dan Kirby. ‘The most troubling aspect of this situation,’ Steve told us, ‘is the fact that they tried to hide the payments as ‘house-keeping expenses.’ Even after those allegations became public, the Republican Party still didn’t condemn the actions of their party member.’” (Source)
Education is one of Steve’s top priorities. “Addressing jobs and education together is essential, Steve argues, ‘to meet the demands of a changing world.’ Steve emphasized his desire to see educators and business leaders work together. He understands that funding education through recurring sources that won’t subject our budget to wild fluctuations year-by-year means ‘our children are better prepared to enter the workforce and our communities will grow.’” (Source)
Steve’s Republican opponent Zack Taylor part owns and works in the oil & gas company RKR Exploration Inc. and has donated to Republicans in the past. Right now Steve Barnes is getting out-fundraised by all the oil and gas money that is flowing to Zack Taylor. As of the last filing, Zack Taylor has and End Balance of $19,495.60 while Steve Barnes is at $1,520.99. We need to help balance this out now.
Recently we have seen the power of the Progressive Left in coming together to help a candidate out. In Georgia, Jon Ossoff has raised over 8 million dollars and in Kansas of all places Army veteran and Democratic candidate James Thompson for the KS04 special election received a 200K+ boost in funds in just a few days. Imagine what we could do for this seemingly smaller race.
These are the races that matter, these are the races that start to build back our party base across the nation.