(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.)
Due to term limits, Rep. Jason Murphey (R-Guthrie) is ineligible for re-election. House District 31 drew no shortage of contenders for the conservative-leaning district, with three Republicans and two Democrats filling out the primary ticket.
Regardless of who wins, this #HotRace in HD 31 will send new blood to the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Two educators make up the Democratic ballot, while three small-government Republicans comprise the other side.
The primary will be held June 26. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote in their respective primary, HD 31 voters will participate in a runoff-primary election between the top two vote-getters Aug. 28.
House District 31 in brief
- Outgoing office holder: Rep. Jason Murphey
- ZIP codes represented: 73007, 73012, 73016, 73025, 73027, 73034, 73044, 73054, 73058
- Counties represented: Logan, Oklahoma
- Townships represented: Cashion, Cedar Valley, Cimarron City, Edmond, Guthrie
Candidates appear in alphabetical order with incumbent party listed first. Photos and content have been taken from publicly available resources.
Rod Baker (R)
Platform: On May 11, Baker offered a condemnation of Gov. Mary Fallin’s veto of SB 1212 and solidified his commitment to Second Amendment rights. On April 27, he stated a commitment to “uphold and defend the principles written” in the Platform of the Oklahoma Republican Party on his Facebook page.
Links: Website | Facebook
Gary Mize (R)
Profession: Owner and operator of Mize & Associates, a retirement-income and financial planning firm
Experience: Area manager for commercial lending at JPMorgan Chase
Platform: Mize’s website says he supports more education funding through cuts of wasteful welfare spending. If elected to the House, he states he would protect dedicated transportation funds, vote for pro-life legislation and protect the Second Amendment.
Links: Website | Twitter
Barry Niles (R)
Profession: Retired Lt. Colonel in the Infantry of the US Army Reserve, retired Sergeant with the Oklahoma City Police Department
Experience: Served as a senior adviser for a military transition team for the 6th Iraqi Division of the Kadahmiyah Security District, Baghdad
Platform: Niles states on his campaign’s website that he is against tax raises and instead supports cutting regulations to allow small businesses to grow and increase the tax base. His website also states, “[state] Programs which were closed because of budgets cuts can’t be automatically renewed just because there is now money. If the state got along without the program maybe we didn’t need it in the first place.”
Angela Moffitt-Jones (D)
Profession: High school teacher
Experience: Graduated summa cum laude in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in both English and social science at Ashford University
Platform: Moffitt-Jones’ Facebook cites fixing education as her highest priority. On crime prevention, she writes, “Many of the small petty crimes in Guthrie can be solved with more community outreach for our children.” She is “furious” Oklahoma is building two new private prisons, stating, “Students before inmates!” on her Facebook.
Links: Website | Facebook
Kara Sawyer (D)
Profession: Special-education teacher
Experience: Graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science in special education with a dual certificate in mild/moderate and severe/profound disabilities
Platform: On her website’s About section,Sawyer cites her work with outreach programs such as the American Red Cross, Logan County Systems of Care and Sooner SUCCESS. This Guthrie News Leader article reported on May 10 that Sawyer would carry the same inclinations to the state House to meet the needs of Logan county citizens.
(Correction: This post was updated at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, June 5, 2018, to correct reference to retired Lt. Col. Barry Niles’ military service. NonDoc regrets the error.)