Rep. Joe Dorman: Putting people before politics

Last December, I made the decision to run for governor of Oklahoma because I believe our state needs a strong, in-touch, bipartisan leader. I’ve traveled across our state, met with Oklahomans, and learned about what is most important to them and their families. The concerns vary, but all share the same message — our state is headed in the wrong direction, and current policies are only benefiting a select few.

In the last four years, it’s apparent that Gov. Fallin’s priorities have been out of touch with hard-working Oklahomans. She has cut senior and veterans’ services and attacked pension systems. Fallin restricted National Guard benefits, derailed the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, promoted a meaningless storm shelter response, and weakened Second Amendment rights. Our corrections system and other critical state services are dangerously understaffed; infrastructure is deteriorating, and our state budget is poorly managed. Most importantly, over the last four years, she has devastated our public education system. Fallin slashed education funding, ignored teachers in dire need of a pay increase and implemented high-stakes third-grade reading tests. These issues are just a few reasons why the state needs a change in leadership.

I will bring the right priorities back to the governor’s office and put education first. Our students are the future of this state and the key to Oklahoma’s long-term economic growth. Since 2011, Fallin has moved in lockstep with Janet Barresi — cutting $200 million from K-12 public schools, creating multiple high-stakes testing policies and a flawed A-F school grading system. She supported Common Core until it was no longer in her best interest and reversed her support in an insincere political move.

Serving as governor means rolling up your sleeves, working hard, reaching out to all Oklahomans, regardless of party and finding solutions to the issues facing the state. My Classrooms First education plan will provide an additional $35 million to classrooms through the state’s franchise tax, eliminate third-grade high-stakes reading tests and end-of-instruction exams, provide the ACT exam to high school sophomores, juniors and seniors to measure progress and bring students, parents, teachers, administrators and college professors together to craft age-appropriate academic standards. All of this without raising taxes.

Read the complete story on