MARLOW, OK (KSWO) - Voters in Oklahoma House District 51 will head to the polls March 6 to elect a new representative.
House District 51 covers parts of Grady, Stephens and McClain counties, including Duncan, Marlow and Chickasha. Democrat Charles Murdock will be running against Republican Brad Boles.
As voters head to the polls to choose a new representative, they'll have two options to choose from, and both men are longtime residents of the Marlow community.
Democrat Charles Murdock has been a teacher and coach in Oklahoma for more than 30 years. He now runs a driver's education business in Duncan.
"With my experience and the things I've done, the different jobs I've done and the different committees I've served on, I think I can be a person up there that can help get some things accomplished. Not just sit back and argue one political party versus the other political party. I think Oklahomans are tired of that partisan politics," Murdock said.
Republic Brad Boles was born and raised in Marlow. He currently is the president of his family's company, Wilco Machining and Metal Fabrication, and has served as the mayor of Marlow for the last four years.
"Our state is in a crisis right now, really. I feel like I can go up there and hopefully help solve some of the problems our state faces. I feel like with my experience in public service, being on the school board and as mayor, and also with my experience as a business leader, I feel like I can use those experiences to help go up there and represent the people of this district," Boles said.
Boles said if elected, he thinks he could use his business acumen to help the legislature balance our state's budget.
"I understand when times get tough you have to tighten your belt, you have to make adjustments, which I feel like our state has the past few years. I also realize you have to make investments in yourself to grow. I think our state needs to make an investment in ourselves. It has to be a wise investment. It has to have a good return on your investment. You have to see growth, you have to see profitability. When I say return I mean return in services, a return in our states capita, a return in the services that we offer, the growth that our state has," Boles said.
Murdock said he thinks our state needs to make big changes, starting with increasing the gross production tax on oil and gas.
"We've tried to get our head above water by cutting services. They got our gross production tax at one point down to 1 percent. It's up to 2 percent now but that is a far cry from the 7 percent that we should be getting. All those oil companies are paying 7 or 8 percent in other states around us that produce oil and gas. We should be doing that in Oklahoma too," Murdock said.
Both Murdock and Boles said if they are elected, finding a way to fund teacher pay raises would be a top priority. The election Tuesday, March 6. Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Go to your normal polling place to vote.