The Edmond Sun

State News

May 2, 2014

Candidate Dorman says Fallin ‘out of touch’

ENID, Okla. — As governor, Joe Dorman said he would put every public policy solution on the table for discussion.

From water to education, the Democratic candidate from Rush Springs said he wants to have that discussion with voters.

“Nothing’s going to be, in my opinion, taboo to discuss and try to come up with some policy to help Oklahomans,” Dorman said Thursday in an interview with the Enid News & Eagle. “Nothing’s off the table. We’ve got to look at the topic and come up with the best solution.”

Republican Gov. Mary Fallin has two opponents in the GOP primary June 24: Chad Moody, of Oklahoma City, and Dax Ewbank of Guthrie. There also are three independents running: Richard Prawdzienski, of Edmond; Joe Sills, of Oklahoma City; and Kimberly Willis, of Oklahoma City. The general election is Nov. 4.

While he doesn’t support the Common Core State Standards Initiative, the education policy championed by the National Governors Association, Dorman said it should be left up to schools to decide if it’s best for them.

“If the local school district wants to keep that, then that’s going to be their decision. This should be a local decision on the standards they put in place,” he said.

What Oklahoma should focus on, he added, are state-developed policies and standards created with the help of university departments of education. Dorman also said state budget negotiators should spend more on teachers and classrooms.

“I have no problem with national suggestions or levels to attempt to attain, but our biggest problem in Oklahoma is we’ve shortchanged education. We’ve had elected officials down there that have focused on a one-size-fits-all approach,” he said.

His plan includes a pay raise for teachers and funding for remediation.

Dorman was the only Democrat to file for office. Since there is no primary election challenger, he said he is relieved to focus on campaigning to a broader audience instead of just registered Democrats.

“It lets me focus on the key part and that’s the campaign against Mary Fallin,” he said.

He has a long way to go. According to fundraising data reported to the Oklahoma State Ethics Commission, Dorman has raised just more than a quarter-million dollars since his exploratory committee was formed in December. In the first three months of 2014 alone, Fallin raised more than $518,000, leaving her with an excess of $1.7 million to spend this summer.

“I haven’t felt anxious yet,” Dorman said. “We’re working on the fundraising.”

The problem he expects to face is a demoralized Democratic Party that’s suffered dramatic losses in the Legislature and the executive branch. Four years ago, Democrats held nearly every statewide-elected seat. Then Republicans took them all.

“People in the state are worried the pendulum has not swung back — that a Democrat would have a tough time,” he said. “Our polling numbers have shown different. The response we’re getting is definitely different.”

Voters, Dorman said, want someone who will work with lawmakers across the aisle.

“They essentially want someone to be the adult in the room,” he said. “Mary is not near as popular as she thinks she is. She’s going to face stiff opposition in this election and it’s going to come from those voters who are paying attention and are voting based on the issues.”

He did not share his own polling data, but said the only other issue as important to voters this year is education.

Dorman has served 12 years in the state House and cannot run for re-election. He briefly considered returning to Grady County to serve as county commissioner, but his statewide ballot campaign to implement a $500 million bond issue to pay for safe rooms and shelters in schools convinced him to seek higher office.

“Across the board, Democrats, Republicans and independents were dissatisfied with the way things were running, business as usual, at the Capitol,” he said.

The petition drive essentially faltered when the state attorney general altered the wording that would be used on the ballot, but Dorman said organizers could begin another drive in May.

The No. 1 issue he has with Fallin is that she does not represent Oklahomans’ best interests, he said.

“I think she’s out of touch with reality,” Dorman said, criticizing Fallin for not making sure criminal justice reforms were implemented and rejecting the Medicaid expansion that was part of the Affordable Care Act.

“That’s money Oklahomans have paid in. It’s money that should come back that we’re refusing,” he said.

Text Only
State News
  • MS_new pastor_Page_1.tiff Local church welcomes new pastor

    For one of Edmond’s newest pastors, faith and family intersect on a personal level.
    Sam Powers, pastor at Edmond 1st United Methodist Church, 305 E. Hurd St., and his family arrived in mid-May and his first Sunday in the pulpit was the second one in June. He and his wife Sheryl Heaton Powers, have two children — Kyla will be an eighth-grader at Cheyenne Middle School and David will be a fifth-grader at John Ross Elementary.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • pm_Ramona Paul.jpg Keith, 5 others to receive service awards

    The 2014 Door-Opener Awards Gala dinner and silent auction Sept. 4, benefitting ASTEC Charter Schools, will recognize five outstanding Oklahomans and one Kansan for lifetime contributions made toward helping others in society maximize potential and achieve dreams.
    Those selected to receive a Door-Opener Award at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel event include Dr. Harvey Dean, Pittsburg, Kan.; Toby Keith and Tricia Covel, Norman; Former Gov. George P. Nigh, Edmond; the late Dr. Ramona Paul, Edmond; and Natalie Shirley, Oklahoma City.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Anderson Properties continues to grow

    Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties recently announced the acquisition of Tulsa-based Prudential Alliance Realty, an eight-office, 150-agent brokerage operating in Tulsa and Oklahoma City and Edmond.
    The transaction gives Anderson Properties, a full-service real estate agency a total of 38 offices and more than 600 agents.

    July 28, 2014

  • police car.jpg Enid man injured following pursuit

    Larry Lynn Edwards was taken to St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center following the 11:32 p.m. crash on 30th Street, just north of Fox Drive, with head and internal body injuries.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Texas man critical after ATV crash

    Edward Alan Bourland, 37, of San Angelo, Texas, was taken from the scene of the 3 p.m. collision by Eagle Med and flown to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City.

    July 26, 2014

  • Logan County pays off jail tax early, seeks new one

    Logan County is paying off a sales tax ahead of schedule and needs a new one to be able to afford funding jail operation and maintenance, officials said.
    Citizens vote on the county sales tax which is split for redistribution by state law. The tax is collected by the Oklahoma Tax Commission and redistributed back to the county as specified by voters.
    In 2005, citizens passed a 10-year sales tax, scheduled to end next month, to fund the building, operation and maintenance of the county jail, which operates on a $1.3 million budget. Jail capacity is 188 without anyone in a holding cell or a temporary bunk. Thursday it was holding 130 inmates, said Logan County Chief Deputy Richard Stephens.

    July 26, 2014

  • MS_Andy Billups.jpg Local man relies on experience in July 4 emergency

    Andy Billups just happened to have gained experience as a combat zone firefighter/medic while he was serving as a civilian contractor in Iraq.
    The Edmond businessman just happened to have a friend with a place on Grand Lake where he has been viewing Independence Day fireworks for a number of years, and he just happened to be there July 4.
    And he just happened to be relaxing on a hammock when he heard a some kids making a commotion.
    Located two blocks east of Disney on State Highway 28 in the foothills of the Ozark Mountain Range in northeast Oklahoma, the 59,000-plus surface acre Grand Lake is known for its state parks, marinas, restaurants, motels and fishing.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Goo Goo.jpg The Goo Goo Dolls: A long way from making racket

    Group in concert with Doughtry and Plain White T's Aug. 5 at the Enid Event Center

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Navy Honor_1_BV.jpg ‘She’s my rock’: Family honors sailor who goes beyond service

    Kimberly Henry has a job in Navy intelligence and beyond that, has committed to hundreds of hours of volunteer work throughout her tours of duty.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Quake rattles Helena area

    July 25, 2014