OKLAHOMA (KSWO) – Eleven men and women from Oklahoma are running to be the state's next governor, including Libertarian candidate Joe "Exotic" Maldonado.
Joe Maldonado is affectionately known as Joe Exotic thanks to his role at an exotic animal farm in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. Maldonado said he believes because of his business ventures, he is the perfect choice to be our next governor.
"I was the youngest police chief in the state of Texas history at the age of 19 years old. I took 16 bare acres in Oklahoma and $1,000 in my pocket and turned it into the largest privately-owned zoo in the world. As a businessman, and being in politics since I was 19-years-old, I know where the corruption is, I know how to fix it," Maldonado said.
Maldonado said his first order of business as governor would be working to make sure every state agency is held accountable.
"We've got almost $100 million missing from the health department, nobody has answered for that. They're going to sweep that under the rug and we'll never know. We've got $1.1 billion of casino money since 2005. Most of that is supposed to go to our school systems. Most of that is just political embezzlement because they'll give it to the school system but then they'll turn around and cut the budget and take it right back because they screwed up somewhere else. We have to make our agencies accountable," Maldonado said.
Maldonado said he would also fight to fully legalize recreational marijuana in the state and has a plan to fund teacher pay raises.
"We have eight superintendents in Garvin County making $750,000 for 5,000 students. If we just reallocated our superintendents in this state alone and made them get off their butt and go teach school and got rid of half of those, half of the secretaries and half those aids and use that money to pay our teachers and get supplies in there," Maldonado said.
Maldonado said none of his friends being lawmakers or lobbyists will help him make decisions based on what Oklahomans truly want.
"If you vote for me, I can promise you that your voice will be heard for a change. I'm going to have an open-door policy and you're not going to get a form letter or a response from an aide. We're going to sit and talk about a problem and if you know something better than I know something, we're going to put your plan into action," Maldonado said