GUBERNATORIAL RACE: Meet Libertarian Chris Powell

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Eleven men and women from Oklahoma are running to be the state's next governor, including Libertarian candidate Chris Powell.

Powell is a former reserve Marine, who currently lives in Bethany and has been a member of the Libertarian Party since 2000. He has also served as the party's state chair. Powell said he's running for governor because he believes the Libertarian Party can bring some much-needed change to our state.

"People are fed up with the two establishment parties down there at the capitol and they want something different. I'm here to offer it," Powell said.

Powell said if elected, one of his goals would be to take politics out of the classroom.

"In my view, the only people who need to be making decisions about the education of any individual child are parents and teachers who know that individual child," Powell said.

Powell would also get to work on reforming our state's criminal justice system.

"We have too many of the wrong people in our prison system. It's too expensive, we're wasting human capital. In many cases, it's a question of the morality of putting people into the prison system. Where we take somebody who had a small problem and when they come out they're a big problem for the rest of us. It doesn't do them any good and it doesn't do the rest of us any good," Powell said.

Powell also supports State Question 788, which will be on the ballot in June and would make medical marijuana legal in the state.

"Not just the fact that people are suffering and need that medical aspect of it, but it's the overall thrust of the fact that we are too busy chasing around people over a plant when it's not as harmful as alcohol, which is perfectly legal. We need to put those resources that were are putting on that into other things," Powell said.

Powell is running against two other libertarian candidates in June's primary election and says he is the best candidate.

"I've got the experience, I've got the knowledge of the process, I've been doing this a long time. I know a lot of people at the capitol, I can work in that political realm, but I am not of that political realm. I'm a regular guy with a regular job just like most other Oklahomans," Powell said.

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