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A local flavor to candidate filings

This article originally appeared in the Pauls Valley Democrat.

There's a Pauls Valley and Garvin County flavor for sure as a whole slew of candidates ended a most unusual filing period Friday kicking off what could be an explosive election season in 2018.

Political races of all kinds are officially shaping up with some seeing challenges for incumbents and others featuring brand new faces.

On the local front candidates from PV threw their names in the hat as they'll run for state Legislative seats.

With legislators facing a teacher walkout and protest at the state Capitol the last couple of weeks, a push for pay raises and increased funding for public schools, one former PV teacher says this very issue convinced him to file.

Jarman, 63, taught math and English in PV for three decades before retiring and just a couple of years ago ran for a seat in the state senate.

Now he is among several filing to run against Bobby Cleveland, the Republican incumbent for the District 20 seat in the state House.

Jarman, a Democrat, says he decided to run because of Cleveland's reported response at the start of the walkout.

“Because of the education issue and what Bobby Cleveland said that teachers should be back in the classroom,” he said about his candidacy.

Jarman was right in the middle of a teacher walkout back in 1990 when teachers in Oklahoma were pushing for pay raises, smaller class sizes and more funding for public education.

“We need to have a teacher there,” Jarman said about the office.

“He cannot go unopposed. A teacher is someone who knows what it is like to be a teacher.”

Cleveland, 74, of Slaughterville is far from alone in the race as he's one of six Republicans filing to run.

The other Republicans are Anthony Mackey, 44, of Noble, Tina Swayze, 54, of Purcell, Jimmy Smith, 49, of Lexington, Sherrie Conley, 54, of Newcastle, and Delene Gilbert, 27, of Noble.

Donald Cole Gallup, 35, of Pauls Valley filed as a Libertarian.

Also planning to make another run is Allie Burgin, 77, of Wynnewood.

Burgin, active in various community efforts in Pauls Valley for some time and chairman of the Garvin County Republican Party for the past few years, is running for a House seat soon to be open.

Tim Downing is not seeking a second term in the state House District 42 seat, which includes much of Garvin County.

Downing's decision to not file is what led Burgin to sign up as a candidate.

“I feel I've got the ability to go up there and bring some people together,” Burgin said.

“I've done that all my life. I think we need that in government, and really everywhere else, more than than ever.

“We need to bring people together and work together. We need to go forward and get stuff done. I've got some big shoes to fill. Somebody needs to step up, so I decided that would be me.”

Burgin was joined on the Republican side by Cynthia Roe, 58, of Lindsay.

The Democratic filings for the office are Liz George, 43, and Tara Jo Thompson. Both are from Blanchard.

Another House seat with a portion of Garvin County is District 48 in the far southwestern part of the county.

Incumbent Pat Ownbey is not seeking another term as four candidates have filed to run for the open office.

On the Democratic side is Cheryl Key, 68, of Ardmore and Jordan Buck, 28, of Wilson, while Republicans, all from Ardmore, include Tammy Townley, 52, Jason May, 34, and Brent Phelps, 48.

District 22 Rep. Charles McCall is a Republican incumbent drawing three opponents, including Ivan Richeson, 56, of Milburn from the same party.

Filing as a Democrat were Wayne Eidson, 72, of Sulphur, Eddie Paul Hunter, 49, of Sulphur and Louise Newell, 63, of Connerville.

Renae Ward, 41, of Sulphur filed as an Independent to challenge McCall for a district that includes part of far eastern Garvin County.

Neither of the two state Senate offices for Garvin County are part of this election cycle. Those offices are held by Greg McCortney and Paul Scott.

Authorized and paid for by Steve Jarman for State Representative, District 20, 2018.
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