Veteran Teacher, Sheriff's Deputy Challenging For Rep. McDugle's Seat
There are now two challengers for State House Seat 12: teacher Cyndi Ralston and Wagoner County Deputy Nick Mahoney.
Ralston has taught for more than 30 years in Broken Arrow and currently in Haskell, according to a campaign representative. She is running as a Democrat on a platform of education funding, health care, particularly in rural Oklahoma, and criminal justice reform.
Mahoney has served as a law enforcement officer for 10 years and is currently the public information officer for the Wagoner County Sheriff's Office.
The seat is currently held by Republican Rep. Kevin McDugle, who came under fire when he posted a video to his Facebook page lambasting teachers for their behavior at the capitol.
"I'm not voting for another stinkin' measure when they're actin' the way they're actin'," he said on the video.
McDugle eventually deleted the video and replaced it with another, explaining the previous video and vowing to continue to support teachers. The second video also appears to have been deleted. You can watch both videos here.
According to the campaign, Ralston helped organize Haskell teachers attendance at the state capitol on Monday. Ralston’s candidacy was spurred on in part by McDugle’s controversial video. McDugle was running unopposed until now.
Ralston relased the following statement regarding the McDugle videos, and her candidacy, Tuesday evening:
On Wednesday, Mahoney commented on McDugle's videos:
The mass majority of Oklahomans stand with our teachers, as a father of public school students, I want what's best for their education. I want them to have the best teachers, schools and funding possible. For any public figure, especially a state representative to respond the way he did is uncalled for and unprofessional.
The election for House District 12 will be held on June 26.