On Wednesday evening, community members packed the Tower Theatre in Oklahoma City for NonDoc’s first public political debate. The event proved informative and highlighted many benefits of open, fair candidate debates.
Above, you can watch the debate. Filmed and produced by Bryce Holland, the lightly edited video captures the night’s discussions for potential voters to watch ahead of the Sept. 12 special election for Oklahoma County Sheriff. It has trimmed out some of the debate’s casual banter between questions.
Three men — P.D. Taylor, Mike Hanson and Ed Grimes — were asked to discuss issues ranging from department funding levels to the availability of feminine hygiene products at the much-maligned Oklahoma County Jail.
Journalists Aaron Brilbeck of News 9, Claire Donnelly of KGOU and James Coburn of the Edmond Sun asked candidate questions at the debate.
NonDoc partnered with the Tower Theatre and the non-partisan groups Let’s Fix This and the Oklahoma Women’s Coalition to present the debate, which would not have been possible without the financial support of several important sponsors.
The Oklahoma Progressive Network stepped up to fund a Title Sponsorship for the event. OPN formed in 2016 to offer “progressive” Oklahomans an opportunity to discuss, plan and take civic action. OPN’s mission statement reads: Connecting people and organizations to increase political awareness and community involvement.
FKG Consulting — With its office located in the Tower Theatre building, FKG Consulting is a family-based business dedicated to helping clients achieve public policy goals.
Brett & Karma Robinson — Brett and Karma Robinson each have decades’ worth of experience in Oklahoma civic affairs. Karma serves as vice president of membership for the Oklahoma State Chamber, and Brett is a partner of McSpadden Milner Robinson, LLC, a public-policy advocacy group that represents a wide range of clients.
Jennifer Chancellor — Longtime Oklahoma journalist Jennifer Chancellor has covered music and arts for the Tulsa World. She most recently served as editor of the Oklahoma Gazette for the past four years. Chancellor has just taken a new role as assistant information director for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She also serves as a board member for FOI Oklahoma.
Oklahoma County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association — The OCCDLA sponsored a 2016 debate for Oklahoma County Sheriff and serves as a trade group for attorneys practicing criminal law in Oklahoma’s most populous county.
ACLU of Oklahoma — The ACLU of Oklahoma is an affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, a national not-for-profit, non-partisan, voluntary organization founded in 1920. Its purpose is to protect those rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights
Additionally, the Seminole Nation Vineyard & Winery served as wine sponsor for the event by providing sponsor tables with complimentary vino.
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Oklahoma County Jail the focus of sheriff debate by Jeff Packham