Two candidates running to represent Senate District 32

Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 6:20 PM CDT
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OKLAHOMA (KSWO) - Senate District 32 is up for grabs in the November election, and two candidates are campaigning to win your vote.

The seat represents nearly 83,000 people in southwest Oklahoma.

Johnny Jernigan is running against incumbent John Michael Montgomery.

Education, women’s rights and bringing high-quality jobs to southwest Oklahoma are just a few issues these two would tackle if elected.

Passion is what Johnny Jernigan believes sets him apart.

The father of three hopes to improve Oklahoma’s education system as a Senator.

“Funding education and mental health, making sure that our rural schools have got enough school counselors to help with mental health issues,” Jernigan said. “Since COVID, mental health has been an issue for our students, and I’d like to see something done about it.”

Jernigan said he would make education a priority, in a way he doesn’t feel Montgomery has over the last four years.

“School vouchers are a rural school killer,” Jernigan said, “and I think that alone, plus women’s rights, which my opponent has also voted against makes me a better candidate, I believe.”

He said he wants to enact true change along with other legislators who care about Oklahomans.

“Hopefully the right ones will be elected and their leadership will be sort of a lighthouse for the legislature to guide towards, which hasn’t always been the case in the past, and I’m hoping I can change that,” Jernigan said.

Lawton native John Michael Montgomery has served the legislature since 2018, with a focus on education.

“Making sure that young families have access to good quality childcare,” Montgomery said. “That’s something I’m certainly looking to target. Retirement security is another major issue. A lot of people think, ‘Social security is going to become my mainstay later in life.’”

If he’s re-elected, Montgomery plans to focus on workforce issues and economic development.

“Ultimately, we need to target making sure that we get people where they want to work and have a good quality of life that they’re seeking,” Montgomery said. “It’s a complicated issue on some level, right? So just making sure that we’re aligning the workforce to where they want to go and where they want to be.”

He said he’d continue working on issues impacting education, such as licensure.

“Making sure that teachers have what they need to be able to teach in a classroom with the resources they need to better our students at the end of the day,” Montgomery said.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 8th. Find your polling place here.