Conley, who has been an educator for over 25 years, won by less than 100 votes in a runoff after finishing a distant second in the first primary election. She was one of several teachers elected in the wake of the teacher walkout in the spring of 2018.
Conley sits on the Appropriations and Budget Education, Common Education, Health Services and Long-Term Care, and Higher Education and Career Tech committees.
This year, Conley will face challenger Steve Herburger in the Republican primary. As no other candidates filed, the winner of the seat will be determined by the primary.
The following overview of the candidates was derived from publicly available information.
House District 20 at a glance
Officeholder: Rep. Sherrie Conley
ZIP codes represented: 73010, 73026, 73051, 73065, 73068, 73072, 73074, 73075, 73080, 73093, 73095, 73098, 74826, 74831, 74852, 74872, 74878
Counties represented: Cleveland, Garvin, McClain, Pottawatomie
Cities/municipalities represented: Asher, Blanchard, Byars, Cole, Etowah, Goldsby, Lexington, Newcastle, Noble, Norman, Paoli, Pauls Valley, Purcell, Rosedale, Slaughterville, Wanette
Sherrie Conley (R, incumbent)
Profession: Former educator
Platform: Conley’s website touts her as a “difference maker” who believes in “small-town values.” It says she hopes to build on work she’s done in her first term, which included working to improve student outcomes and improving trauma resource training for teachers. Conley’s complete legislative record can be found here.
The three main focuses of Conley’s campaign are the economy, education and protecting the Constitution. She believes the economy should begin to re-open and that Oklahoma should bring new industries to the state. According to her website, Conley supports gun owners and wants to protect civil liberties.
In her platform, Conley says she will support schools making decisions at the local level and work to improve literacy rates in the state. Earlier this session, she expressed her disagreement with a policy that would have prohibited four-day school weeks, which she saw as beneficial in some rural districts. Last month, a bill Conley authored to require school districts to have plans in place for athletic emergencies — named after Lexington student Riley Boatwright, who died after suffering injuries in a football game — was signed into law.
Conley has been endorsed by the Oklahoma Public Employees Association, the Oklahoma 2nd Amendment Association, the Oklahoma 4 Day School Coalition, Oklahomans for Public Education, the Oklahoma State Chamber and the NRA, according to her Facebook page.
Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Steve Herburger (R)
Town: Blanchard, originally from Enid
Profession: President of 2 Fellas and a Big Vehicle moving company
Platform: Herburger’s website says he decided to run for HD 20 “because I know I can help make Oklahoma a better place to live.” His top priorities include the economy, foster care, health care and education.
Herburger wants to bring more industries to the state, particularly manufacturing to ensure more products are made in the United States, according to his website. He also hopes to support the Oklahoma foster care system by increasing support and funding for their programs and facilities and improve the education system by focusing more on interpersonal skills and less on technology. In health care, Herburger says he will advocate for more options at a lower cost (though he does not say how this can be achieved) and transparent billing.
On his Twitter account, Herburger has shared tweets that support law enforcement and has argued that the Republican Party is more inclusive of Black Americans than the Democratic Party.
Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter