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Candidates Vying for Open State Legislature Seats Sound Off at Forum

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Five candidates for two open seats in the state legislature gave their views on a variety of issues during a public forum. Five candidates for two open seats in the state legislature gave their views on a variety of issues during a public forum.

By Alex Cameron, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Conservative values were on display Thursday night at Wiley Post Airport, site of the Northwest OKC Chamber's Legislative Candidates Forum. Five candidates for two open seats in the state legislature spent close to 90 minutes answering questions and explaining their views on a variety of issues to a crowd of about 40 voters.

Three of the participants are vying to be the next representative of House District 100, a seat being vacated by Mike Thompson, who is running for Congress.

Republicans Elise Hall, David Looby and Tim McCoy are all political newcomers and all stressed the importance of making government more responsible and more responsive to the true desires of taxpayers. McCoy is an attorney who teaches American Government at OSU-OKC. Looby is an attorney practicing tax law. Hall is a lifelong resident of the district and works for a local landscaping firm.

Since no Democrats filed for the race, the winner of the July 27 primary will be elected to the seat in November.

The other two candidates at the forum, also Republicans, are running for Senate District 30, the seat currently held by Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee. Coffee is term limited at the end of the year.

David Holt has worked for numerous state and federal officeholders and most recently served as chief of staff for Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. Matt Jackson worked for the Boy Scouts of America before moving into a career in corrections and law enforcement. Both Jackson and Holt said they identify with the aspirations of the Oklahoma Tea Party and believe responsible fiscal management would begin with reducing the size and reach of government.

As with the other race, there are no Democratic candidates, so their political fate lies with the outcome of the primary.

Each candidate was given three minutes for an opening statement and two minutes for closing remarks. Responses to questions, some of which were submitted by the audience, were limited to one minute.

The only contentious moment of the evening came when Jackson's turn came to answer the lone question that had been submitted by one of the candidates. It asked whether the person running for office would accept an endorsement from any union affiliated with the AFL-CIO. Jackson acknowledged that the question was directed at him, since, he said, he has been approached by representatives of the police and fire unions. Jackson defended the work of these unions and the public safety workers they represent and said he would be proud to be endorsed by them.

No other candidate said he or she would seek or accept a union endorsement.

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