ONL to host candidate debate Oct. 19 at history center
By Ken Childers
In advance of the upcoming general election, the Okemah News Leader will host a candidate debate later this month at the Okfuskee County Historical Society.
Candidates for Oklahoma Senate District 7, State Representative District 24 and Okfuskee County Sheriff have been invited to take part in the debate, which has been slated for Oct. 15 at 6:30 p.m. Candidates will face questions from a moderator as well as from the audience.
Invited candidates include Jerry Donathan and Warren Hamilton, one of which will replace Senator Larry Boggs (R-Wilburton) in District 7, which includes Haskell, Latimer, Pittsburg and portions of Hughes and Okfuskee counties. Hamilton edged Boggs out of the race in the Aug. 25 runoff election and goes on to face Democratic challenger Donathan on Nov. 3. At press time, only Donathan had confirmed his participation in the debate.
State Representative Logan Phillips (R-Beggs) and Steve Kouplen have both confirmed their participation in the upcoming debate. Phillips unseated Kouplen in November 2018, and Kouplen, a Democrat, is seeking to reclaim his seat in the house.
Also invited were Okfuskee County Sheriff Jim Rasmussen and his challenger John Woods. Rasmussen, who is running on the Democratic ticket, was appointed as sheriff in December 2017 following the resignation of Steven Worley. Woods currently serves as a Hughes County deputy. Rasmussen’s participation in the debate has been confirmed and by press time, Woods’ confirmation was still pending.
There is no charge for the public to attend the event, but seating is limited to 100 people. ONL also plans to stream the event live on Facebook. The Okfuskee County Historical Society is located at 407 W. Broadway in Okemah.