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Oklahoma District 59 state representative candidate says wearing swastika in photo was part of a costume

Rodney Hilbert, 42, of Taloga, said he's not a racist. His opponent, incumbent Mike Sanders, R-Kingfisher, had little to say about Hilbert's swastika. Sanders said he hopes voters focus on each candidate's political experience when they go to the polls.
BY ANN KELLEY Published: June 21, 2012

Sanders is seeking his third term as state representative. He is employed at his family's business, Sanders Funeral Home in Kingfisher. He earned a bachelor's degree in history and political science from Oklahoma Christian University.

He began working on political campaigns at a young age, including the 2000 campaign for President George W. Bush. Under the Bush administration, he served as director of interns at the White House.

He later served as deputy chief of staff for rural development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. From 1999 to 2003, he served on the Council for Small Business for Gov. Frank Keating.

Hiebert said he blames incumbents for the problems in state government, and will serve only one term if elected. He's not accepting campaign donations, because he doesn't want to be beholden to any special interest groups, he said.

In the past, Hiebert has worked as roughneck in the oil field, as a nursing home aide, and has farmed. He said he's not currently employed because he's focusing on the race.

If elected, he said he plans to research the state lottery's contribution to education, concentrate on legislation that reduces crime and support measures that would benefit oil producers and reduce government spending.