Candidates answer questions at WDN-sponsored forum

  • Candidates for county commission, sheriff and House District 57 participate in a candidate forum sponsored by the Weatherford Daily News.

The Weatherford Daily News hosted a June 30 election forum for Custer County and District 57 candidates Thursday night at Weatherford City Hall.

Candidates for Custer County Sheriff are Dan Day and Sheriff Kenneth Tidwell. Candidates for District 2 County Commissioner are Carl Bailey, Chuck Frantz and Bruce Walker. Candidates for Oklahoma State House of Representatives District 57 are Anthony Moore and Juan Garcia, both of Clinton.

Mike Hixson with Yes Weatherford also spoke at the forum about the propositions, which would replace the current penny sales tax in October if all four pass.

The candidates all answered a variety of questions, allowing the public to make an informed decision at the polls June 30.

Below is each of the candidates and one of their best answered question. Note: The answers may be shortened for reader clarification. Watch the full forum on the WDN Facebook page.

Dan Day: What specific attributes or experience do you have which would be beneficial for this office?

I have had a long law enforcement career, and I have served pretty close to 50 years. The attribute I bring to this job is I’m a problem solver and always have been a problem solver. I believe in the golden rule, treating everybody the same — “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

I have a good track record. You can make up anything you want or write an article about your experience — that’s for anyone it doesn’t matter who it is — but if you don’t have a track record to back it up, then it’s just old news. I have a long, good, respected track record which I will bring to this office.

Sheriff Kenneth Tidwell: Why are you running for Custer County Sheriff? As the incumbent sheriff, I want to

As the incumbent sheriff, I want to continue serving the citizens of Custer County in this position. I spent most of my 27.5-year law enforcement career working for the Custer County Sheriff’s office, and I’d like to remain doing the job I truly love and enjoy, keeping that experience of working for the citizens of Custer County.

I’ve spend a little more than 25 years in Custer County, starting out as a Sheriff’s Deputy and working my way up through the different positions — undersheriff and even interim sheriff for a while. I’m fortunate to serve the last 3.5 years as your sheriff. I feel a dedication to the sheriff’s office. It’s been my home. I’ve been here through the good times, stayed through the rough time and I would like to continue on with the career I’ve made with Custer County.

Carl Bailey: What specific attributes or experience do you have which would be beneficial for this office?

I have an extensive background operating and working on these types of equipment from heavy construction equipment to manufacturing equipment. I do have a electromechnical technology degree which helps me diagnose issues, whether it be a road grader, bulldozer or truck.

Along with that, I have maintained a CDL license with a hazmat and all the endorsements. So when it comes to the truck drivers we have on the road, I can understand if they call in and have an issue. I can talk through how to have them fix it or contact the proper person for the job.

The past 4 years, I have been a supervisor and an operations manager. The operations manager position was challenging to begin with, but it’s pretty much what a county commissioner is.

Chuck Frantz: Why are you running for commissioner?

My interest in being a Custer County Commissioner began in high school. I worked at the county my senior year until I went into the oil field equipment. I ran equipment from dozers to trucking to laying asphalt to paving potholes. I learned then the commissioner and the county contribute a lot to the community.

Running for this office has not been an option until now because both my wife and I had to build our business and raise a family. Now I have the time to dedicate to the county, and I’m looking forward to getting a chance to do that.

Bruce Walker: Do you have any specific ideas for improving the operations of the office?

In the last 5 years, I’ve seen some good things, and I’ve seen some which weren’t so good. I’ve seen things which worked well and things which failed. When I went to work for the county, I was frustrated to see us continue to repeat the same failed things again, and again, and again while expecting a different result.

We have about 225 miles of paved road in the county, which needs to be totally restored every 10 years. It also needs repairs in the meantime. To stay caught up, about 23 miles need to be repaved every year. During the tenure of our current commissioner, he paved around 60 miles of roads, so we are a good 110 miles behind. As a commissioner, one of my top priorities will be safe roads and bridges. I will restore the roads and bridges in District 2.

Juan Garcia: Why are you running for District 57 Representative?

I am interested because year after year we continue to see budget cuts which hurt education, higher education and career tech. Every year we lose welltrained teachers because of our inability to fund classrooms.

In addition to the budget cuts to higher education, we continue to saddle middleclass, working families with debt they cannot crawl out of because they want to improve their standing in life.

I want to work on rural health care. In the last 4 months we’ve seen how important it is for rural health care to be protected.

Anthony Moore: Why are you running for District 57 Representative? After putting it off time and time

After putting it off time and time again, two things finally convinced me. First, my wife reminded me we are on this earth to serve, not to be served. In this capacity as state representative, it’s humbling to have this opportunity to serve 30,000 plus Western Oklahomans. Second, a friend of mine tells me all the time “don’t talk about it, be about it” — basically a nicer way to say put up or shut up. So finally, with those words ringing in my ears, and a great amount or prayer, we decided to enter into this endeavor.

I want to continue to make this a place where conservative values have a home and have a voice. I’m an optimist, and it’s been tough to be an optimist the last few months. When the dust settles it will be time to get back to work on the items we were working on before: first and foremost education, unified leadership, diversifying the economy and infrastructure.