With House District 36 containing an entirely different base of constituents after redistricting, and term-limited incumbent Rep. Sean Roberts running for Oklahoma labor commissioner, five Republicans are vying to be the first representative within HD 36’s freshly drawn eastern Oklahoma County boundaries.
House District 36 — which was previously located in Osage County, near the Kansas border — now encompasses a large portion of eastern Oklahoma County and provides new representation for the cities of Luther, Harrah, Choctaw and Jones, as well as a smaller portion of northeastern Cleveland County.
This cheat sheet offers a look at the five Republican candidates vying for the House District 36 seat. If no candidate wins a simple majority of votes in the June 28 primary election, then the top two vote earners will compete in an Aug. 23 runoff. This race will not see the general election, as no candidate from another party filed to run.
The following information was gathered from publicly available resources, and candidates are presented in alphabetical order.
Charles De Furia
Background/Profession: A Vietnam War veteran, De Furia currently serves as the chairman of the Oklahoma County Planning Commission. He previously served on the Luther School Board, where he resigned during a 2017 meeting that featured a dispute over the district’s spending policies. According to The Luther Register, De Furia said he was “just tired” and described having nightmares about board meetings. De Furia was known for voting against many agenda items that involved district finances.
Platform: De Furia stands for election integrity and constitutional rights, according to his account on Truth Social, a platform created by former President Donald Trump. Also on De Furia’s Truth Social account, he says he will “prayerfully and aggressively oppose all manner of government overreach whether federal or state, that infringes on the God given rights of all Oklahomans, including the unborn.”
De Furia claims there were “irregularities” in the 2020 presidential election and that the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol was a “setup” by ANTIFA and Black Lives Matter organizations. Both of these claims have been widely debunked, but De Furia made news at the April 2021 Oklahoma Republican Party convention when he plugged his ears and turned his back on U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe’s speech about why he voted to certify 2020 election results.
“The thing was, he needed to do something on Jan. 6, and he didn’t do it, and neither did (U.S. Sen. James) Lankford,” DeFuria was quoted as saying. “We just needed 10 days to look into all these irregularities in the voting machines where all of a sudden Biden’s got all of these extra votes and they’ve actually subtracted votes from Trump. Then there was this fake insurrection and Lankford said there’s nothing we can do now because of it, but it wasn’t an insurrection, it was ANTIFA and Black Lives Matter and it was a setup.”
On De Furia’s campaign website, he endorses Mark Sherwood over Gov. Kevin Stitt and says he wants to “put an end to medical and educational tyranny and media censorship in Oklahoma.” De Furia also says he will fight to raise Oklahoma’s personal income tax exemption and Oklahoma’s property tax homestead exemption to keep pace with inflation. Currently, those exemptions are each set at $1,000.
“Have you ever wondered why your property tax homestead exemption of $1,000 has not changed in over 30 years, or why the Oklahoma income tax personal exemption of $1,000 has not changed in over 30 years? It’s a sneaky way for career politicians to raise your taxes and chip away at the American dream of home ownership,” De Furia wrote.
Background/Profession: First elected in 2012, George retired as president of the Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 123, earlier this year. He had worked as a detective in the Oklahoma City Police Department since 1991, according to his LinkedIn. His wife is also an Oklahoma City police officer.
According to his campaign website, George served five years in the Oklahoma National Guard prior to working in law enforcement. He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from East Central University.
Platform: According to his campaign website, George is pro-life, in favor of the Second Amendment and believes in “choice for parents in educating their children.” George writes that he will fight to lower state taxes and to lessen regulations on small businesses.
In response to the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, George said in a Facebook post that he believes mass shootings around the country are due to mental health struggles and claimed “we are completely failing at this issue.”
“Let me say this loud and clear this is not a gun problem it’s a people problem. This country is losing its way when it comes to strong christian values,” George said. “We have a mental health epidemic that is out of control and rarely talked about.”
In 2020, George clashed with a proponent of improving mental health care access — OKC City Councilwoman JoBeth Hamon — after she shared a meme that connected police shootings with the OKC bombing.
Background/Profession: According to Paden’s campaign website, he is a U.S. Air Force veteran who graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management. Paden writes on his campaign website that he has spent 25 years working in management and finance. However, his work history on Facebook only shows he worked as a general sales manager at Harley-Davidson from 2012 to 2018.
Platform: On his campaign website, Paden writes that he is pro-life and supports law enforcement. Additionally, Paden lists his priorities as teaching financial literacy in high schools, state-funded merit-based college scholarships, eliminating poverty among senior citizens and providing “assistance” for veterans, farmers and ranchers.
To address poverty among senior citizens, Paden writes that he wants to raise the minimum benefit of social security checks to $2,000 a month for individuals over 65 years old. (Social Security is a federal program that is not governed by the Oklahoma Legislature.)
Paden opposes critical race theory and “gender identity studies” in schools. Paden also wants to implement safety protocols in schools, such as “airport procedures for entry into buildings” and security escorts for individuals who enter and exit schools during regular school hours. Additionally, he wants to “arm and train” school bus drivers or place security on school buses.
On Paden’s campaign website, he writes that House District 36 has a candidate who has been “bought, sold and paid for,” although he does not identify that person.
“Lobbyists, political action committees, and special interest groups have chosen a candidate to represent them and not you,” Paden writes. “The same thing that goes on in Washington D.C. I hope you do your research and make the right choice whether it’s me or another candidate.”
Background/Profession: According to Raglin’s campaign website, she graduated from Choctaw High School. She and her husband, David, own a construction firm called Authentic Plastering, Inc., where she handles the company’s accounting and office work. Her website brags that the company has done plaster work for former OU football coach Bob Stoops.
Platform: On her campaign website, Raglin claims she is not accepting lobbyist or PAC donations throughout her campaign for House District 36, stating that the only people she owes “will be the voters in her district.”
Raglin does not go into detail regarding her policy plans, but the priorities listed on her campaign website include:
- Defend First and Second Amendments, election integrity and all Constitutional freedoms.
- Defend unborn babies.
- No defunding the police.
- Fix our roads, fair treatment for our district.
- Oppose open border policies.
- Fight vaccine/mask mandates.
- No critical race theory or transgender propaganda in schools.
Background/Profession: According to his Facebook, Roberts is a 20-year military veteran and a member of the Oklahoma National Guard. On his campaign website, Roberts says he has owned multiple successful business, “most notably” Western Oklahoma Metal Recycling, LLC. However, the Secretary of State’s Office shows that business as being registered to a different man in Weatherford since 2016.
Platform: Roberts lists several values on his campaign website, but not specific policy points. Roberts writes that he is pro-life, supports “traditional marriage” and favors school-choice vouchers. Roberts welcomes immigrants who “want to legally seek freedom and opportunity, who want to work for a living and who will embrace our values, learn the English language, and respect our national sovereignty.”
According to a May press release from U.S. Term Limits, Roberts has signed a pledge committing support for term limits in Congress. U.S. Term Limits is a non-profit organization that advocates for term limits at all levels of government. However, Roberts pledge appears to only pertain to Congress.
(Correction: This article was updated at 9:50 a.m. Monday, June 13, to correct reference to John George’s town.)