The Edmond Sun
OKLA. CITY —
State Sen. Al McAffrey is a candidate who will bring fair representation to Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District, he said. The Oklahoma City Democrat said he has represented every person regardless of their faith or color of their skin while serving as a member of the Senate District 46 and House District 88.
“For any reason, I was there to listen to your needs and try to help you,” McAffrey said. “I feel like I work for the taxpayer and the taxpayer is my boss. We may disagree on issues, but at least you have a voice.”
As a former veteran in the U.S. Navy, McAffrey does not believe benefits should be cut for military veterans, he said. Veterans’ benefits need to be expanded, he said, because many veterans have given their limbs or sacrificed their lives for freedom, McAffrey said.
“The other thing is I don’t think we should ever close down the government,” he continued. “That’s not the way to run a government, not for a week, a day or two weeks, and I promise I will never shut down the government.”
McAffrey said he believes in taking care of business instead of grandstanding for partisan notoriety. As a small business owner, McAffrey operates Oklahoma Cremation and Mortuary Services.
The United States must not lose its competitive edge to other nations determined in its ability to produce scientists and technological advancements, McAffrey said.
The growth of the 5th District brings challenges to look at ways to bring jobs to the state, McAffrey said. The medical community in the district is expanding, he said. More family practice physicians are needed in rural Oklahoma.
Federal grants could provide incentive to persons going into the medical field to waive the costs of medical school when a doctorate is earned, he said.
“Not only the medical field, but engineers and other areas where it takes a lot of money to be educated,” McAffrey said.
The federal government could also benchmark incentives for states to fund education, McAffey said. He commends the federal government for providing incentives through Teach for America.
The state legislature continues to cut higher education benefits while universities are forced to raise their fees and tuition to cover expenses, he said.
“We as a government need to find a way that the people who want to go to college can attend college at less expense, so when they get out they don’t owe $200,000,” McAffrey said.
Oklahoma receives more federal money than what it sends to Washington, D.C., he said.
“We wouldn’t have the roads and bridges that we have today, and the transportation, if it wasn’t for the federal government,” McAffrey said. “I do believe this. Our federal government should stay out of our education.”
Communities elect a school board and a superintendent of schools. Parents should be able to replace them if they do not agree with their elected officials, he said. Neither the state or federal government should order a community how to teach children, McAffrey said.
“We should have more teachers in Oklahoma. And we should be able to pay our teachers in Oklahoma,” McAffrey said.
Three other Democrats have announced their candidacy for the Congressional 5th District. Contenders include Tom Guild, a retired University of Central Oklahoma professor; Keith Davenport, retired federal contractor; and Marilyn Rainwater, former state employee.
The Republican field of candidates include Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas, state Sen. Clark Jolley, both from Edmond; state Rep. Mike Turner and former state Sen. Steve Russell, both from Oklahoma City; and Harvey Sparks, a former staffer of U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine.
Candidate filing for 2014 statewide elections is set for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 9-11 at the state Capitol. Voters will nominate their party’s candidates June 24 for the statewide primary election.
A run-off primary election is set for Aug. 26. The general election is slated for Nov. 4.
TO LEARN more about state Sen. Al McAffrey, visit his campaign website at http://www.almcaffrey.com