Voters in southwest Oklahoma will go to the polls Tuesday to select a replacement for former Rep. Scott Biggs who resigned his House District 51 seat in November to become the executive director of the U.S. Farm Service Agency.
A former prosecutor, Biggs had been a controversial figure at the Capitol, critiquing criminal justice reform efforts as having unintended consequences and attempting to modify some of the statutes included in State Question 780 that voters approved in 2016.
House District 51 covers parts of Grady and Stephens counties, stretching from the southeast side of Chickasha down to Ninnekah and Marlow.
Tuesday’s election will pit a retired educator against a businessman. Both men are from Marlow and appear here in alphabetical order:
Bradley Boles, 34, Marlow
Profession: President of family’s machine-shop business, Wilco Machine & Fabrication, Inc.
Experience: Defeated one opponent to win the HD 51 special-election primary Jan. 9 with 82 percent of the GOP vote; Mayor of Marlow since 2014 and member of the Oklahoma State Chamber board of directors.
Platform: Boles touts his business-related degrees as well as real-life business experience as the basis for his qualifications to address the state budget crisis. In addition, education, jobs and health care feature prominently on the Republican candidate’s Issues page. With regard to the latter, The Oklahoman’s Ben Felder quoted Boles in a story published last week as saying, “Immediate access to health care is a big deal in my district.”
Links: Website | Facebook
Charles L. “Chuck” Murdock, 71, Marlow
Profession: Retired educator, co-owns a commercial driving school in Duncan.
Experience: Currently, Murdock serves as vice-president of the Oklahoma Retired Educators Association (Stephens County chapter). Past positions include board member of the Stephens County Literacy Council and membership representative for the Oklahoma Education Association.
Platform: As a former teacher, coach and assistant principal, education funding and the protection of public schools rank high among a laundry list of issues on Murdock’s About page. In the same text, the Democrat candidate is described as a “conservative” politically and espouses conservative interpretations of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.