Governor Kevin Stitt addresses concerns of rural Oklahomans

Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 8:53 AM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - Governor Stitt paid a visit to Cache to meet with local representatives and community members.

Many people said this was their first time ever meeting a governor, and they couldn’t remember the last time anyone in the position had visited Cache.

Which is why most of the conversation focused on the disconnect between state and local government, especially in rural communities, which makes up 33.6% of Oklahoma.

Cache Mayor Scott Brown believes the government should make it a priority to include rural areas when making decisions for Oklahomans.

“We do voice our concerns, we do need more rural health care and of course education is always a top priority for rural Oklahoma,” Brown said.

Access to healthcare is a key issue for Brown, who said the large elderly population in Cache struggles to get back and forth for doctor’s appointments.

“Put clinics in rural communities here in Oklahoma, it’s just a better livelihood for everybody,” Brown said.

“By putting EMS’s in rural areas, I know that’s one of the things in the contracts we put in there, is access to primary care doctors more in certain areas. So that is also something we can also talk to the health department about,” Gov. Kevin Stitt said.

Another issue Mayor Brown would like to see addressed? Food deserts in rural areas.

“Our community members don’t have access to fresh fruits and vegetables within 2 miles. So that is one thing that we’d like to go to the state level to see if we can get additional funding to provide grocery stores and food for areas just like Cache,” Brown said.

But Stitt said the government may not be able to provide the exact kind of access Brown was hoping for.

“But as for grocery stores, the best we can do as a government is to get out of the way of the people and commerce and lower taxes and lower regulation and allow businesses to compete with each other,” Gov. Kevin Stitt said.

Gubernatorial candidate Joy Hofmeister will also be visiting Cache at their senior citizens building on Nov. 1st.