Local House, Senate debates Thursday in Poteau

Amanda Corbin
News Reporter

The Poteau Daily News, along with Heavener Ledger, Spiro Graphic and Oklahoma Welcome, will host the first of two Oklahoma House and Senate primary election debates on Thursday.

The event will be from 5:30-8 p.m. in the Donald W. Reynolds Community Center of Poteau.

The public can submit questions by email to generalmanager.pdn@gmail.com until 5 p.m. on Thursday or bring questions until 4 p.m. to the PDN office. Questions can be House or Senate specific.

PDN Advertising Manager Nikki McKimmey will emcee the event. All questions will be placed into a bowl and drawn at random by each media publication. Candidates will have two minutes to respond and one minute for rebuttal.

"We hope that the majority of the public will come and support this debate and hear what the candidates have to say," said PDN General Manager Dave McKimmey. "I hope we have a great turnout."

Candidates confirmed to speak at the event include House District 3 Republican candidates Eldon Dugan and Lundy Kiger and all Senate District 4 candidates including Democrats Chris Ford and Eddie Martin and Republicans Mark Allen and Heath Eubanks. Democratic House candidate Troy Dyer has no primary opponent.

Possible topics which may or may not be discussed at the debate include: State Question 788 for the legalization of medical marijuana; State Question 794 to expand constitutional rights of crime victims; State Question 798 to provide for a joint ticket for governor and lieutenant governor; State Question 800 to create a fund for the investment of 5 percent of oil and gas development tax revenue; and State Question 801 to allow certain voter-approved property taxes to fund school operations instead of only construction.

The House debate will be from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and the Senate debate will follow. Candidates will have tables at the event to display their literature.

For those unable to attend, the PDN plans to stream the event on Facebook Live on the PDN Facebook page. A printed article will follow in Saturday's edition.

The second House and Senate debate will be 5:30-8 p.m. June 21 at the Reynolds Center. Although Thursday's debate will not include a public session for questions, McKimmey said the PDN hopes to include one at the second debate.

Two general election debates will follow in the fall with dates to be announced.