House District 43 Election: Incumbent Steagall embraces serving ‘great folks’

Constitutional conservative seeks third term

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State Rep. Jay Steagall, R-Yukon

Editor’s Note: State Rep. Jay Steagall (R-Yukon) faces Yukon Independent Cassie Kinet in the Tuesday, Nov. 8th general election. The winner will earn the next two-year term represented Oklahoma House District 43.

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

A two-term state legislator seeks the opportunity to continue his work representing a growing constituency across the Yukon area.

“We just have great folks,” State Rep. Jay Steagall (R-Yukon) said of House District 43. “We’re friendly, we’re traditional in our values, we’re very principled, and we’re always willing to help others.”

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A Constitutional Conservative, Steagall believes he’s the right person to represent District 43 at the Oklahoma State Capitol.

A retired U.S. Air Force major, he was first elected to Oklahoma’s House of Representatives in 2018 and then re-elected in 2020.

“’Yukon’s Best’ is our slogan,” Steagall said. “But it’s also a fact. The constituents of House District 43 are very proud of their traditional values. That’s reflective of the community. We’re ‘small town’ and everybody seems to know each other. And we love that feel.

“We’re kind of a ‘mix.’ We’ve got a great school district, a sizeable residential area in District 43, and also a lot of business.”

He believes this balance is why so many people are moving to the Yukon area. The 73099 zip code is among the fastest growing in the United States.

“It’s an honor to serve the constituents in House District 43,” Steagall said. “I’ve really enjoyed my time working for the people in our area and the state for the last four years. I’m looking forward to serving another term.”

When he first took office four years ago, Steagall was selected by his veteran peers to chair the State House Veterans Caucus.

Steagall, 45, was deployed in service to the U.S. nine times during a 22-year military career.

He served with the Oklahoma Air National Guard through May 2016 and the U.S. Air Force Reserves at Tinker Air Force Base until retiring in 2019.

Rep. Steagall also was chosen by the House Speaker to chair the State Rights Committee.

“I’ve done a lot to work to protect not just my constituency, by the entire State of Oklahoma,” he emphasized. “I’d like to continue that service.

“I take my oath of office very seriously. The promise we (as legislators) make to the people of our respective districts is that we will protect their Constitution.”

On Oct. 18, Steagall presented the first in his eight-part series “Exploring the Truths of Our Founding Documents.”

As part of a statewide tour, he spoke at the Canadian County Republican Party’s monthly meeting about the proper role of government.

Helping public education through teacher pay raises is one way the state Legislature has tried to improve Oklahoma since Steagall took office.

“We’ve also taken steps to protect the state from federal overreach,” he added. “I’d like to continue my work down that path, so we can help control the destiny of Oklahomans ourselves.”

Other issues that Steagall plans to address are diversifying Oklahoma’s economy through new and developing industry sectors and the state’s tax structure.

“Oil and gas is still our ‘bread and butter’ in the State of Oklahoma,” he said. “But it needs some help from the state right now. Aerospace is the fastest-growing industry we have. We’re looking at running some legislation next year to promote that industry.”

Agriculture is another key industry in Oklahoma, and Steagall pledges to maintain a positive relationship with farmers and ranchers in House District 43 and across the state.

“Because they’re working really hard to feed us,” he noted.

“It’s nice to be energy independent. It’s nice to be in a position where we can feed ourselves. And it’s nice when our economy is diverse enough so that everybody can find a good-paying job and live in the greatest state in the Union.”

District 43 State Rep. Jay Steagall (R-Yukon) joins District 60 State Rep. Rhonda Baker (R-Yukon) and Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby in bowing their heads during an invocation at Yukon 66 Main Street’s “Yukon Salutes” dedication ceremony Oct. 8 at the Yukon Veterans Museum, 1012 W Main. Maj. (ret.) Steagall was honored in a “Veterans Salute.” (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
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‘WE ALL FEEL THE STRAIN’

Forty-year high inflation rates and a sluggish economy are foremost concerns House District 43 constituents are sharing with their representative during the campaign.

“We all feel the strain – we see the higher prices at the grocery store, at the fuel pump and other places,” he said. “And we’re still dealing with supply chain issues.”

Rep. Steagall referred to bad federal policy that continues to drive prices up.

“As we did last year in the House, I’d like to see us continue to find ways to cut taxes for Oklahomans,” he added. “We’ve looked at several different options to cut the grocery tax. That would help those who are struggling to be able to put food on the table or buy more groceries.”

In the November 2020 election, Steagall defeated Yukon Independent Cassie Kinet by a 72.55% (13,320-5,040) vote majority. Voter turnout was high because that was a presidential election year.

As he looks ahead to facing Kinet in the Nov. 8 election, the state legislator encourages people to “get out and vote” to have their voices heard at the ballot box. He cited the relatively low voter turnout in this year’s primary and runoff elections.

Rep. Steagall realizes he has an advantage in seeking re-election to a third term because he’s the incumbent and has an “R” next to his name in what is a GOP stronghold.

“In our district, we’re heavy Republican,” he said. “We have a significant Democrat presence, some Independents and some Libertarians.”

The District 43 representative is among 82 Republicans in the 101-member Oklahoma House of Representatives. The other 19 members are Democrats.

Steagall said he has an open-door policy for all Oklahomans he represents, no matter their political affiliation.

“The office that I have at the State Capitol really doesn’t belong to me,” he pointed out. “It belongs to the people in House District 43. It’s my job to take all the phone calls, emails and text messages – however people need to get ahold of me and listen to their concerns.

“If I can lead by being a good servant and a good steward of taxpayer dollars, then I feel I’ve done my job. I have roughly 40,000 ‘bosses’ at home. I work for them.”

District 43 State Rep. Jay Steagall (R-Yukon) welcomes the crowd to the Annual Oklahoma Czech Festival Oct. 1 in downtown Yukon. Steagall was first elected to Oklahoma’s House of Representatives in 2020 and is seeking his third, two-year term in office. He faces Yukon Independent Cassie Kinet in the Tuesday, Nov. 8 general election. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
As he seeks a third term, District 43 Rep. Jay Steagall (R-Yukon) speaks about the proper role of government during the Canadian County Republican Party’s monthly meeting. Steagall is presenting an eight-part series, “Exploring the Truths of Our Founding Documents.” (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
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