By: Jess Kelsey
After securing the Democratic nominee for Oklahoma’s next governor during last month’s primary, Drew Edmondson has been working on taking his campaign efforts across the state.
Edmondson stopped in Mustang Tuesday morning to visit community leaders at their weekly Positive Posse meeting, saying he believes a new direction is necessary in the state’s leadership in order to make Oklahoma a place people want to live, work and raise a family.
“The decision was made by my wife Linda and I last year to make this race mainly because of what we were reading in the paper every day,” he said. “We’d get up in the morning and there’s another story about where we were ranked in education, health care, mental health, and incarnation.”
A Navy veteran who served the country in Vietnam, Edmondson’s first job upon leaving the military was teaching speech and debate at his alma mater, Muskogee Central High School. Edmondson is a graduate of Northeastern State College and the University of Tulsa School of Law. He is a former district attorney and served four terms as Oklahoma’s attorney general.
According to a press release from Edmondson, he has “stood up against out-of-state corporate interests on many occasions, including fighting industrial and agricultural polluters, Wall Street fraudsters and big tobacco.”
As attorney general, Edmondson was one of eight attorneys general to negotiate a historic agreement with the big tobacco industry that led to national changes in the industry’s marketing tactics and outlawed marketing to children. This resulted in a settlement that will force the industry to pay $200 billion to the states over 25 years, according to Edmondson. Oklahoma’s share of this settlement is $2 billion.
Edmondson then led the effort to establish the Oklahoma tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, which constitutionally protected the vast majority of Oklahoma’s settlement dollars and ensured those funds can only be spent on issues of Oklahoma’s public health.
Edmondson also advocated for the creation of theOklahoma Educational Technology Trust, helping place more than $12 million in technology equipment and training in Oklahoma public schools.
“I’ve been blessed. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve ever done,” said Edmondson. “I’ve enjoyed my time in the Navy, my time in the legislature, my time as DA and my time as Attorney General. I’m looking forward to serving time as your governor.”
During the primary in June, Edmondson received 61.38 percent of the state-wide democratic vote,defeating fellow candidate Connie Johnson. In Canadian County, Edmondson received 61.43 percent of votes.
For more information on Edmondson and his campaign efforts, visit drewforoklahoma.com.
Mustang’s Positive Posse meets every Tuesday from 8-9a.m. at Mustang Town Center in room C and D, 1201N. Mustang Road. Cost is $2, which serves as a donation to Friends of the Mustang Public Library