By Conrad Dudderar
A Yukon second grader – son of a Yukon City Council member – got the experience of a lifetime this week when he had a “meet and greet” with Oklahoma’s highest elected official.
Van Wootton met with Gov. Kevin Stitt in the governor’s office on Jan. 27 during a visit to the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City.
Van, 7, is the son of Yukon’s Jeff and Micheal Ann Wootton.
Jeff V. Wootton, Yukon’s at-large city council member, said the conversation between his son and Gov. Stitt ranged from baseball to making sure Van’s school had everything it needed.
“A funny moment was when they talked about how the window next to the governor’s desk was secure glass and that they could make faces at people if they wanted to and no one could throw anything through the glass to hurt them.”
At that point, Gov. Stitt started making silly faces with Van!
The highlight of the tour was when the governor reached into his desk and pulled out a governor’s coin and gave it to Van. Stitt said these coins were special and only the governor could give them out.
Councilman Wootton loves how all his children are involved with their governments.
“Van has a servant attitude,” he said. “He loves helping people. I can see him enjoying the chance to serve his people, just as I am enjoying the opportunity to serve the people around me.”
Another funny moment came when Gov. Stitt asked Van if the governor’s office was going to be his one day.
Van politely replied, “Maybe so.”
WORTH THE WAIT
This week’s State Capitol visit with Gov. Stitt has been in the makings for months.
Jeff Wootton attended a luncheon last year with other Yukon and Canadian County leaders where Gov. Stitt was guest speaker.
Van wanted desperately to attend the luncheon with his father; unfortunately, there wasn’t an open seat.
After the luncheon, Jeff Wootton told Gov. Stitt how his little boy was a huge fan and wanted the opportunity to meet him.
Stitt – who became Oklahoma’s 28th governor in January 2019 – suggested making a video and showing it to Van at home.
“In the video, the governor said for Van to come out sometime to the Capitol and to meet him,” said Wootton, who has been Yukon’s at-large city council member since May 2019.
A few weeks ago, Wootton emailed the Governor’s office and asked if that invitation was still good.
“The very next day the Governor’s office reached out and said that they had an opening on the 27th and they would love for Van to come out and meet the governor,” Van’s father said.
Gov. Stitt and Council Member Wootton both began serving four-year terms during 2019. Stitt was elected by a 54% majority of votes to win his state office while Wootton claimed nearly 66% of the vote tally to claim his local seat.
Besides serving as a volunteer on the five-member Yukon City Council, Wootton is a
geography teacher at Yukon Middle School. His son Van is a second grader in Mrs. Sturgeon’s class at Parkland Elementary School.
Jeff Wootton shared what he hopes his son takes from the meeting with Gov. Stitt.
“(T)hat our government officials are there to serve their people and that even a young boy from Yukon can grow up to make a difference for his city, state and even his nation,” he said.