In what is essentially a new Senate seat in south-central Oklahoma, created by the new redistricting that moved it out of Oklahoma County, two first-time politicians will face off in the Nov. 6 election.
Corey Brooks, a Republican from the town of Washington, won a four-way primary that went to a runoff in August.
He now faces Democrat Mike Fullerton, a senior roadway designer from Newcastle.
Senate District 43 is currently held by Sen. Greg Childers, R-Del City. Childers was unable to run because he no longer lives within the redrawn district boundaries.
Brooks, 33, said he has been spreading the message of bringing Christian, conservative, common-sense politics to the Capitol in Oklahoma City.
“That seems to be the basis of what most of the voters here in District 43 are looking for,” Brooks said. “A moral senator who will try to do the right things whenever possible and who would be fiscally responsible with their tax dollars.”
Brooks said the recurring issues voters talk to him about during his campaign are jobs and the economy.
Fullerton said he was inspired to run for office when his son was unable to bring home an algebra book from his school in Newcastle because there weren't enough books for every student.
“As a parent, I had to fight to get that book,” Fullerton said. “That kind of sparked it.”
He said he would bring reform to the education system.
“I'd like to be known as the senator that puts kids first,” Fullerton said, suggesting that the state tap into the Rainy Day Fund — an emergency surplus maintained by the state — to fund educational needs.
“We have $570 million plus in the Rainy Day Fund, and I don't believe in spending it all, but I believe in putting a cap on it and covering some of the issues like this,” Fullerton said.
Brooks, a rancher who is in the Navy Reserve, said education is an important issue for him as well.
“Our education system is a key component in economic growth,” he said, “not just from the workforce development, but as an attractor for outside business looking to grow in Oklahoma.”
Fullerton said he also will push for additional resources for building and repairing the state's infrastructure.
“I'm a conservative Democrat,” Fullerton said. “I grew up in south Oklahoma. I am an NRA member. … This senate seat, it's not just about Team Republican or Team Democrat or Team Legislature, it's about District 43, which is made up of families with a common thread of being Oklahomans with rural traditional values.”
Brooks said he has been telling voters that Oklahoma is doing well economically due to the conservative leadership in office.
“I am going to continue to move Oklahoma forward with development that is friendly to small businesses and working on our education system,” he said.