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Jarman running as advocate for education

This article originally appeared in the Pauls Valley Democrat.

Primaries for state Senate and the House of Representatives are still a ways off at June 28, but that hasn't stopped interested candidates from getting a start on the campaign trail.

Included in those getting an early start this year is former Pauls Valley educator Steve Jarman.

Running as a Democrat for Susan Paddack's state Senate District 13 seat, who will be termed out this year, one of his biggest goals is to continue her fight for education in Oklahoma.

“Like her I was involved in education for all my life and I realize those decisions take place at the state Capitol,” said Jarman, noting how he has been considering a run for the past three years. “I have worked as an advocate for a long time.”

Jarman feels qualified to at least lead this charge as he brings with him a background of trying to get education friendly legislation passed.

He believes America has one of the best frameworks for education in place, but feels it isn't getting the funding and support it needs to thrive.

Jarman added that a lot of it comes down to refocusing priorities as vital services like education should not struggle as much under budget cuts.

“People don't realize what a wonderful system we have,” said Jarman. “We need to realize we need someone who's an advocate for education.”

Jarman noted that he is disappointed that instead time was wasted on passing legislative efforts like giving school districts the option of allowing teachers to be armed in classrooms.

Instead of arming teachers he would like to see something like a Safe Haven Act passed, which would take lessons from the TSA and screen students as they enter schools.

“You don't throw gasoline on a fire,” said Jarman. “Each school is supposed to have a plan. There has got to be a better way to prevent an incident like Sandy Hook.”

Another issue he feels needs addressing is the sale of public water to anyone other than the community it serves, to the point that legislation should be passed banning groups like businesses from purchasing it. A lot of that comes down to times when there are shortages and that he believes it will become a serious problem when drought conditions return.

“If they want water, move here,” said Jarman. “Water is a big issue and I don't believe in selling water.”

Jarman also feels that the state government made the wrong decision when it came to the Southern Oklahoma Resource Center. He believes there are individuals who can't make it in a home based setting due to their fragile health and pointed out that the decision could be reversed.

Overshadowing it all is what Jarman noted is a $600 million to $1 billion deficit, a result of what he sees as a mismanagement of funds.

“We went from a billion dollar surplus to almost negative that amount,” said Jarman, speaking of the state budget in recent years past. “I think it can be turned around.”


Authorized and paid for by Steve Jarman for State Representative, District 20, 2018.
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