OK Educators Running For Office Campaigning Ahead Of Tuesday's Primary


Wednesday, June 22nd 2016, 1:04 pm
By: Dana Hertneky


Tuesday will be your chance to vote in several statewide races for a spot in the legislature. Among those running: more than three dozen teachers and educators.

Those teachers say they've tried rallies at the Capitol, lobbying their legislators but that hasn't worked. So now they believe the only way to fix education in our state is from the inside.

Mickey Dollens (D) decided to run for state office back in January. At the time, he was an English teacher at US Grant High School.

4/13/16 Related Story: Oklahoma Educators File For Seats in State House And Senate

“My motivation was I was seeing a lot of my colleagues leave,” said Dollens Wednesday as he campaigned door to door.

He has since been laid off from his teaching job because of budget cuts. So, all his efforts are going to campaigning for the district 93 House Seat where education is his top priority.

“We need to offer competitive wages, we need to see more money appropriated in the classroom and for the teachers instead of so much in administration.”

In the primary, he's running against LeRenda Morgan (D).

“I’ve been advocating on some child welfare and foster care issues for the past two to four years,” she said Wednesday.  She was also campaigning door to door.

Morgan, a former social worker, says she's been in the trenches too and like Mickey says she felt like pushing for change from the outside wasn't working.

“I just felt like I wasn’t heard so I decided to take another step forward and run for office,” she said.

Both are running for an open seat that will be vacated by Republican Mike Christian. And both hope to convince voters by Tuesday, they have the experience that will make a difference.

“As teachers we’re always learning, we’re not just one issue candidates,” said Dollens.

“That’s one of the things I know as a state representative you’ll have to do in office is problem solve and find solutions and make decisions and I’ve done that,” said Morgan.

The winner in Tuesday’s primary will face Republican Jay Means in the November election.