Oklahoma's 1st Congressional District candidates have large student loan debts
Oklahoma's 1st Congressional District candidates, Republican Jim Bridenstine and Democrat John Olson, each owe the U.S. Department of Education more than $100,000 for their graduate school work.
Citing figures regarding the increased incomes that accompany bachelor's and graduate degrees, Olson said pursuing higher education is â€śan investment in yourself. You are going to get a return on your investment.â€ť
Backed by the Tea Party, Bridenstine scored an upset victory over incumbent Rep. John Sullivan in the Republican primary in June. Bridenstine was not available to discuss his student loan debt in the latter three days of last week, said his campaign manager, Gabe Sherman.
â€śThe principal amount of Jim's student loan is a private matter known by Jim and his wife,â€ť Sherman said. â€śThey would prefer not to share that information. He makes payments on his loan and has never missed a payment.â€ť
Bridenstine, a pilot in the U.S. Navy Reserve, received his Master of Business Administration degree from Cornell University. He reported on his financial disclosure form that his loan was for graduate school. Sherman said Bridenstine, who got his undergraduate degree at Rice University, did not use the G.I. bill to cover any of his education costs.
On the financial disclosure form filed earlier this year, Bridenstine listed 2011 income of nearly $36,000. Sherman said Bridenstine also earned roughly $42,000 in military pay that is exempted from disclosure on the forms.
A seat in the U.S. House would give the winner of the 1st District race a salary of $174,000. However, members of Congress can't participate in a program that allows some congressional staff members to receive help paying student loans.
News Photo Galleriesview all
- 12757Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 10379Oklahoma tornadoes: Cost, custom keep basements scarce
- 9755Finding Addyson â€“ One family's struggle in the Moore tornado
- 9478Oklahoma tornadoes: Plaza Towers Elementary School teacher shoved students into bathroom as wall collapsed
- 6719Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill to join Blake Shelton at "Healing in the Heartland" Oklahoma tornado benefit
- 4489Oklahoma tornadoes: Woman meets the military officer who shared the clothes off his back
- 4265Oklahoma tornadoes: Sooners bring back some smiles to Sydney Angle's teammates