By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
Voters in much of Yukon will select the winner of the Oklahoma House District 43 seat in the Tuesday, Nov. 3 general election.
Yukon Independent Cassie Kinet is challenging the incumbent, State Rep. Jay Steagall, R-Yukon, for the next two-year term.
Kinet, 35, is a political newcomer who works for an on-demand food delivery service.
Steagall, 43, is a business owner and U.S. Air Force veteran first elected to the State House of Representatives in 2018. He is seeking his second term at the State Capitol.
Oklahoma HD-43 is entirely in Canadian County, encompassing much – but not all – of Yukon.
Boundaries are generally from State Highway 66 south to S.W. 29th between Garth Brooks Boulevard/Cemetery Road and Sara Road and Council Road.
Kinet and Steagall were the only two candidates filing for HD-43 during April’s three-day filing period.
Kinet said she’s been running a “common sense” campaign while realizing she faces long odds trying to unseat a Republican incumbent in historically red Canadian County.
“I feel completely proud of myself coming in as someone who’s not a politician and as an Independent,” Kinet said. “I’ve met a lot of wonderful people and it’s been a great experience. Whatever the outcome is, I’ll be fine with it.”
Because of COVID-19, the HD-43 contender hasn’t asked for volunteers or donations for her campaign.
Speaking with constituents, much of what Kinet hears is that people are still concerned about the economy, the coronavirus spread and the possibility of school shutting down again.
“We’re not voting to keep our town a certain color, red or blue,” the Independent challenger shared. “We’re voting to get someone in office who’s going to stand up for the people.
“I’m there for them. I’m not going in there with my own beliefs and values. I’m going in with what I hear from the people who I talk to every day.”
With the Nov. 3 election right around the corner, Kinet believe it’s important for voters’ voices to be heard.
“It’s very important for people to get out and vote so they’re adequately represented – in all of our state’s and country’s elections,” the Yukon Independent said.
A constitutional conservative, Rep. Steagall pledges to continue to “work very hard” for his District 43 constituents if re-elected.
“I’m keeping my promises I made on their doorstep,” Steagall said. “And that was to protect their rights and liberties and increase government transparency.”
The HD-43 incumbent shared top concerns among constituents: Jobs, the economy, protection of constitutional rights, healthcare, and Medicaid expansion, and criminal justice reform.
“I hope the voters see the successes we’ve had at the Capitol and how I’ve had some influence on that in representing their best interests,” he said. “I was an author on the constitutional carry bill and the House author for the nation’s first anti-red flag law.”
To start his first term representing HD-43, Steagall became an assistant floor leader and was selected House chair for the Veterans Caucus.
Stegall serves on four committees – Veterans and Military Affairs, Energy and Natural Resources, Public Safety, and Appropriations and Budget – Natural Resources and Regulatory Services.
“I’ve been honored to serve as an ambassador – not just for Yukon but for the state – by visiting veterans’ centers across the state,” the Republican legislator said. “I’m excited we’re getting a veterans’ medical facility here in Yukon too.”
SENATE D-45 RACE
Some voters in the south Yukon area will see another state legislative race on the Nov. 3 ballots.
In Senate District 45, incumbent Sen. Paul Rosino, R-Oklahoma City, is being challenged in his re-election bid by Yukon Democrat Jennifer Wilkinson.
Rosino, first elected in 2017, is a U.S. military veteran, licensed real estate agent and small businessman. Wilkinson has experience as an insurance adjuster, small business owner and tribal government leader.
The winner earns the next four-year term in the State Senate.