In partnership with Generation Citizen, Let’s Fix ThisTower Theatre and Women Lead Oklahoma, NonDoc will host a primary debate between the three Republican candidates for labor commissioner. Borrowing from Oklahoma’s state motto, the “Labor Omnia Vincit” debate will be held from 6 to 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, June 6, at the Tower Theatre. The event is free to attend.

Doors will open at 5 p.m., so attendees can arrive early to take their seats or visit nearby establishments for a little after-work snack before the debate begins.

The campaigns will be allowed to have a table for their literature, giving voters a chance to acquaint themselves better with the candidates and their issues beyond what is said onstage.

The public deserves to hear directly from candidates

At a time when voters claim the issue of jobs is among their top considerations in the voting booth — as well as the gender pay gap, for some — this will be a valuable opportunity for Oklahomans to decide which of these three Republican candidates is best qualified to oversee the Department of Labor.

Much like the Oklahoma County Sheriff Debate we co-hosted in August 2017, NonDoc and our partners decided to organize this event because of a shared belief: It is important for the public to hear directly from candidates on issues that affect their daily lives.

Meet the candidates, briefly

All three Republican candidates have confirmed their attendance at the debate. With NonDoc editor in chief William W. Savage III moderating, the journalists asking questions of these candidates include: Brianna Bailey of The Frontier, Aaron Brilbeck of News 9 and Claire Donnelly of KGOU.

We will hear from Cathy Costello, whose husband Mark Costello died tragically while serving as labor commissioner; Leslie Osborn, a House representative from the Tuttle area who served briefly as chair of the Appropriations and Budget Committee; and Keith Swinton, an entrepreneur who has worked in employee development with the United States postal service.

While all involved wish that we could conduct public debates for all elections, this debate focuses on the Republican candidates for labor commissioner owing to the competitive and high-profile nature of those running.

NonDoc has reached out to Democrat candidates Fred Dorrell of Broken Arrow and Sam A. Mis-soum to discuss the potential for running a comparative piece about their candidacies, but as of the publication of this post Mis-soum has not responded to a social media message. While Dorrell has formed a campaign committee with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission, Mis-soum has not.

Sponsors sought

Sponsors are necessary to help ensure the debate’s success, as there are hard costs (and time) associated with organizing and production. In exchange for their support, sponsors will receive a reserved front-row table for eight at the event as well as recognition on posters, event materials, social media and

If you are interested in sponsoring the debate, email us at Sponsorship levels are meant to be affordable.

And, although it is not required, you can RSVP to our Facebook event page by clicking here.

(Update: This post was updated at 12:45 p.m. Friday, June 1, to reflect the addition of Brianna Bailey to our panel of journalists.)