House District 96
Four Republicans and a Democrat will compete for an open House District 96 in 2020. (NonDoc)

The House District 96 Republican primary will host a crowded field of candidates, with four GOP members chasing the nomination as Rep. Lewis Moore (R-Arcadia) terms out of the seat. The winner will face Democrat Nicol Ragland in the general election.

Moore is currently the House assistant majority whip, chairman of the House Insurance Committee and member of the Public Health and Government Efficiency committees. An advocate for private health care and backer for legislation supporting private insurance plans, Moore’s career highlights outside of legislation included an infamous and contentious presidential portrait switch, as well as an unforgettable Festivus fiasco.

HD 96 comprises much of the northeast corner of Oklahoma County, from Highway 62 between Choctaw and Harrah and extending north to the Logan County border.

The information presented below is derived from publicly available sources. Primary voting will take place June 30, with the general election scheduled for Nov. 3.

HD 96 at a glance

Outgoing office holder: Rep. Lewis Moore
Zip codes represented: 73007, 73013, 73020, 73034, 73045, 73049, 73054, 74857
Counties represented: Oklahoma
Cities/Townships represented: Arcadia, Choctaw, Edmond, Harrah, Jones, Luther, Oklahoma City

Republican Candidates

Margaret Best (R)

Margaret Best

Profession: Real estate agent, registered nurse
Platform: Best’s campaign website, “Oklahoma Deserves Best,” describes her as a pro-life and Second Amendment supporter who will “continue the efforts made to stand against unreasonable regulations that will stifle economic growth.” Best says she will work to keep energy sector jobs and companies in Oklahoma.

Best obtained a nursing degree from Baylor University, working in orthopedics at the Baylor University Medical Care Center in Dallas. She is a real estate agent for Metro First Realty Premier in Edmond and a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution Samuel King chapter.
More Info: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Chris DeCloud (R)

Chris DeCloud

Profession: Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office detention corporal, U.S. Army veteran
Platform: According to DeCloud’s campaign Facebook page, he aims to improve representation of Oklahoma’s middle class. DeCloud believes middle-class citizens have not received equal attention in Legislature as interest groups, political donors, large corporations and the working class. On his campaign website, DeCloud writes he is a proponent for improving the mental health and medical care resources available to incarcerated citizens, and that he has worked in programs alongside the University of Oklahoma “and other correctional health care professionals” to do so. His campaign website contains several clips from Fox News talk show host Tucker Carlson, with whom DeCloud says his political opinions closely align.

DeCloud writes that he is opposed to “government assistance” payments which end once the benefactor is above an income threshold, and would aim to change these payments to instead decrease proportionally based on how far over the threshold an individual advances. DeCloud, a veteran of the Iraq war who received the Purple Heart and Army Commendation medals for combat actions during his 2004 deployment, opposes veteran disability compensation being considered as income for state tax purposes. He also believes prison administrators should be elected by local voters, according to his campaign Facebook page.
More Info: Website | Facebook

Preston Stinson (R)

Preston Stinson

Profession: Construction business owner
Platform: Stinson is owner of Stinson Development Company and a managing partner of the service, but one man in his time plays many parts. A select few friends, Oklahomans and countrymen also know him as a board member of Oklahoma Shakespeare. If elected, Stinson would become the second state employee in his household, alongside his wife and Oklahoma County Judge Sheila Stinson.

Stinson describes himself as an advocate for local businesses and lists the reduction of “regulatory red tape” for business owners and employees among the top priorities on his campaign website. Stinson writes that he would attempt to expand broadband internet access across Oklahoma and support statewide infrastructure improvements in line with the Eight-Year Plan maintained by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Stinson opposes labor unions in education which “force union membership on teachers,” according to his campaign website. Stinson says he would seek to “empower teachers” and “reduce mandates” from state government in schools.

Stinson says he would combat government waste by reducing “excessive administrative costs” in public schools and consolidating state boards and agencies. According to his campaign website, Stinson is in favor of minimum co-pays for health care and would aim to recruit and retain medical professionals in Oklahoma’s rural communities through incentive programs. He describes himself as a pro-life and Second Amendment supporter, as well as a proponent of President Donald Trump’s policies, particularly regarding immigration and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Stinson holds two finance degrees: a bachelor’s from the University of Central Oklahoma and an MBA from Oklahoma Christian University.
More Info: Website | Facebook

Ken Warner (R)

Ken Warner

Profession: U.S. Army veteran, Oklahoma County Republican Party vice-chairman
Platform: Warner describes himself as a pro-life, Second Amendment supporter, although there are few details available on his campaign website regarding specific policy stances. Warner writes that he will prioritize Oklahoma veterans and devote more state funding to education.

The current vice-chairman of the Oklahoma County Republican Party, Warner has assisted in several GOP campaigns in Oklahoma and nationally, according to his campaign website. He volunteered for President Donald Trump’s campaign in Oklahoma and spent five weeks doing so in Colorado. Warner was the gubernatorial campaign manager of former Oklahoma State Auditor Gary Jones in 2018 and a volunteer for now-Gov. Kevin Stitt’s campaign after Jones lost in the primary.

Warner writes that he was a board member of the Oklahoma City All Sports Association for more than three decades before becoming the sales and marketing director for the 2002 Senior PGA Tour Championship hosted in Oklahoma City’s Gallardia Country Club.
More Info:
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Democratic Candidate

Nicol Ragland (D)

Nicol Ragland

Profession: Photographer/filmmaker
Platform: While there appears to be no specific policy information available online for Ragland’s campaign, she has brought attention to environmental and health issues through documentaries on the Trans Pecos pipeline and the consequences of “chemical farming.” Ragland has also completed projects on environmental sustainability among a hunter-gatherer society in Tanzania, and she has written that her time spent photographing for a Haitian film school showed her “just how powerful education is.” On Ragland’s personal website, a quote from Wade Davis of the National Geographic Society describes Ragland as an activist who “wields her camera as the ultimate weapon of love.” Ragland holds degrees in environmental science from the University of Denver and photography from the Colorado Institute of Art.

Ragland’s father, David Ragland, is the founder of the Oklahoma City Polo Club, sponsor of the Oklahoma State University Polo Club and the current president of the United States Polo Association Great Plains circuit.
More Info: Website | Facebook | Twitter