(Editor’s note: In our #HotRace series, NonDoc seeks to provide a digest of candidate information filtered from publicly available resources. The following candidate profiles serve as a preliminary resource for voters to conduct their own research.)
Rep. Todd Thomsen (R-Ada) will not be coming back for another session due to term limits. Instead, two Republicans, one Democrat and an independent have filed to fill House District 25’s open seat.
This #hotrace has no Democratic primary, but the two-candidate Republican primary features two educators, meaning HD 25 has a good chance to send an educator to the Legislature.
The primary will be held on June 26. A primary-runoff election is not possible.
House District 25 in brief
- Outgoing office holder: Rep. Todd Thomsen
- ZIP codes represented: 74572, 74820, 74825, 74831, 74842, 74843, 74844, 74865, 74871, 74872
- Counties represented: Pontotoc
- Townships represented: Ada, Allen, Byng, Fitzhugh, Francis, Roff, Stonewall
Candidates appear in alphabetical order with incumbent party listed first. Photos and content have been taken from publicly available resources.
Shawn Howard (R)
Profession: Small business owner, senior policy analyst with the Citizen Potawatomie Nation
Experience: Howard holds a master’s degree in public health from the University of Oklahoma. In 2016, she ran for the Senate District 13 seat that Sen. Greg McCortney (R-Ada) ultimately won.
Platform: Howard describes herself as a conservative who is 100 percent pro-life and in favor of the Second Amendment, being a member of the National Rifle Association. Having formerly taught in Ardmore and Lone Grove, Howard states she “will vote to increase investment in our classrooms” but will also “hold the line against tax increases on hard working citizens.”
Links: Website | Facebook
Ronnie Johns (R)
Profession: Principal of Ada Junior High
Experience: Johns serves as a worship leader at the Central Church of Christ, and he holds a master’s degree in education from East Central University.
Platform: Johns’ website lists combating prescription drug abuse, ending the deadlock of partisan politics and the funding of state education and state agencies as his main priorities. To fund state agencies, his website says, “We will not only look for new and innovative ways to generate new revenue, but also look at ways to cut wasteful spending in our state government.”
Daniel Manuel (D)
Profession: Professional firefighter
Experience: Manuel served as a union officer for eight years and was on the Ada Chamber of Commerce board of directors from 2014 to 2016.
Platform: Manuel’s website says he will support legislation that will “improve the current situation of Oklahoma Public Schools.” He supports Second Amendment rights for law-abiding citizens and states he will work across the aisle to end closed-door politics. His website contains the following pro-life opinions: “I care about the unborn, I care about adequate access to healthcare for females and males, I care about the well being of humans of all ages, I will not attack someone that is pro-choice, I will not promote unconstitutional legislation that wastes taxpayer money.”
Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Gary Rhynes (I)
Platform: Rhynes calls himself “Rhino” on his campaign Facebook page, though it is not immediately clear whether he is referencing the acronym RINO, which stands for “Republican In Name Only.” He believes Republicans “are seemingly out of sorts with Oklahomans in all quarters of the state” and that Democrats are the “party of descent, not [the] party of ideas or growth.” As an independent, he says he can be a strong leader for Oklahoma, but does not discuss any specific issues on his campaign Facebook page.
(Update: This post was updated at 5:55 p.m., Monday, June 4, to expand reference Ronny Johns’ educational background.)