House District 43 Election: Repeat challenger Kinet strives to be independent voice

Options needed because 'that's what democracy is about'

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Cassie Kinet

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

Tired of the negatively and toxicity of partisan politics, Cassie Kinet says she’s a true independent voice.

“I don’t represent the Democrats or the Republicans,” the Yukon resident said. “I’m going to listen to anyone. I don’t think that a government should rule based by someone’s beliefs, by their faith or by a (political) party.

“We should be ruled by what our constituents want.”

This is the second time Kinet has run as an Independent candidate for the District 43 seat in Oklahoma’s House of Representatives.

She will appear on the Tuesday, Nov. 8 general election ballot, facing a familiar foe.

“We need to have a true democracy where there are actual options for people,” Kinet said. “That is why I’m running again.”

The challenger lost to State Rep. Jay Steagall (R-Yukon) in the November 2020 general election, 13,320-5,040.

“My campaign is extremely organic,” she emphasized. “I talk to my constituents daily and I’m extremely active within the community.

“I’m refusing to fund-raise this year. I’ve had people offer donations. I’m not going to take money when inflation is this high and so many people are struggling while corporations are reporting record profits.”

Kinet, 37, is a Door Dash and Uber Eats delivery driver. She delivers free for local food banks, which are seeing a greater need with more hungry citizens.

“Right now, people are mostly concerned about the inflation,” she said. “The cost of food, gas and electricity continues to rise. They’re worried there is no relief coming whatsoever. I agree with them.”

Kinet shared another issue of great importance.

“I firmly believe that women’s rights are under attack and that someone needs to stand up for the women of future generations,” she said. “I don’t want my daughter to grow up in a society where she’s going to have less rights that I do.

“For the most part, the women I’ve talked to want to have an option and they want their rights protected.”

With children in Yukon Public Schools, Kinet believes the greatest commodity is today’s youth.

“So often, nobody is speaking on behalf of our future generation; they’re continuing to push their beliefs, their religion,” she said. “But they’re not thinking about how this world is going to change and what we need to do to make it better.”

Kinet supports better transportation options for the elderly and veterans, smaller class sizes and higher teacher pay. She fears this area is growing at a rate faster than the schools can handle with climbing student enrollment.

Kinet believes the City of Oklahoma City must provide more parks, pedestrian trails and other recreation options for the growing number of its citizens who live in eastern Canadian County, outside Yukon and Mustang.

Yukon’s Cassie Kinet (left) visits with local female constituents as she runs for Oklahoma House District 43. Kinet believes strongly that women’s rights are under attack. (Photo provided)
Yukon’s Cassie Kinet attends a Black Lives Matter (BLM) meeting at the Yukon Police Department. Kinet is standing in the middle row, second from left. (Photo provided)
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LEAVE THE PARTIES BEHIND

There is an increasing percentage of Independents among Canadian County’s registered voters, according to data from the Canadian County Election Board.

There are now 17,257 Independents (18.1%) in a county of 95,333 registered voters, along with 57,054 Republicans (59.8%), 20,030 Democrats (21%) and 992 Libertarians (0.1%).

Over the past two months, more than 600 Canadian County residents have registered Independent.

“I’m really glad to see people leaving parties behind,” Kinet said. “A two-party system is never going to work, and it causes way too much discord.

“We need somebody to fight for the people of our state, not corporations.”

When asked about her leadership style, Kinet said she’s someone who listens more than talks. She wants to hear what the people want.

Kinet wants everyone who is eligible to exercise their right and vote Nov. 8 – no matter who they support.

“My grandmother told me that I can’t complain if I don’t vote,” she related. “She’s 86 years old and has never missed an election. Even when she was recovering from COVID, she went out and voted for Donald Trump.”

Besides being an on-demand meal delivery driver and parent, Kinet stays busy by volunteering as a missions leader with her church. Her professional background includes international finance and operating a taxi company.

Kinet is running the same type of race she did two years ago.

“No signs, no campaigning,” the District 43 candidate summarized. “I’m just being who I am and giving people an option.

“It’s not about winning. It’s not about fighting. I don’t want any ugly mudslinging. I have nothing horrific to say about Jay Steagall. I’m sure he’s a great guy. I just believe we need to have options.

“Because that’s what democracy is about.”

Yukon’s Cassie Kinet with her 86-year-old grandmother. This is Kinet’s second challenge for the Oklahoma House District 43 seat, which covers the Yukon area. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
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