When Sen. Roland Pederson (R-Burlington) first ran for Senate District 19 in 2016, he emphasized his experience as a teacher and principal.
Four years later, he is being challenged for the seat by another former teacher. David Mason, currently a city commissioner in Enid, is running on many of the same promises as Pederson, including a vow to understand and support public school teachers.
No other candidates filed, so the Republican primary between Pederson and Mason on June 30 will decide the Enid-area seat. The two were recently featured in an article on the changing nature of campaigns in a COVID-19-era.
Pederson serves on the Agriculture and Wildlife, Natural Resources, Education and General Government committees.
The following overview of the candidates was derived from publicly available information.
Senate District 19 at a glance
Officeholder: Sen. Roland Pederson
ZIP codes represented: 73056, 73073, 73701, 73703, 73705, 73716, 73717, 73718, 73719, 73720, 73722, 73726, 73727, 73728, 73730, 73733, 73735, 73736, 73738, 73739, 73741, 73743, 73749, 73753, 73754, 73757, 73758, 73759, 73761, 73766, 73771, 73773, 74601, 74630, 74631, 74632, 74636, 74640, 74643, 74646
Counties represented: Alfalfa, Garfield, Grant, Kay
Sen. Roland Pederson (R, incumbent)
Profession: Farmer and former educator
Platform: According to Pederson’s website, his priorities are faith, freedom and “the future for our families.” Pederson’s website does not list any specific policies he supports, though it does describe his past experiences in education and agriculture. He is “focused on key areas that are important to the constituents of District 19: education, small business, agriculture, healthcare and infrastructure,” according to the site.
Pederson opposes abortion and supports the Second Amendment. His website describes him as a social and fiscal conservative who believes the “Bible is the Truth and it is the direction for his life.”
Pederson’s website also describes his work during his first term, which it claims includes reducing industry regulations to increase jobs, improving the accessibility of rural health care and “fighting back against government red tape and increasing access to essential services.” Earlier this year, he authored a bill requiring kids under the age of 17 to wear seatbelts in the back seat., which narrowly passed the Senate and stalled in the House. Pederson’s complete legislative record can be found here.
Pederson serves in the Air Force Reserves and has held numerous leadership positions in agriculture-oriented organizations, including serving as the president of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau for two months, according to his website. He has been endorsed by U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), the NRA and Oklahomans for Public Education.
David Mason (R)
Profession: Retired insurance agent and educator, current city commissioner
Platform: Mason’s website says that he feels “called to serve” the people in his district, and “fight hard for the values and beliefs that the citizens of Senate District 19 hold close.” In campaign ads, he cites his experience as an educator as an asset to his candidacy.
Mason hopes to create economic and business growth by decreasing government regulations, according to his website. The former educator also wants to support teachers, including raising teacher pay, and improve rural health and mental health care in his district. His website also promises he will cut back on “reckless spending” and reallocate the money to fund services without increasing taxes.
In a release entitled “Why We Must Diversify Our Economy in Oklahoma,” Mason argues the state’s reliance on oil and gas is not sustainable and suggests Oklahoma’s low taxes and tax exemptions, land and central location will allow the state to diversify its economy.
The Republican primary between Mason and Pederson will be held on Tuesday, June 30.