Mary and Jari

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Yesterday was a momentous day in Guymon Oklahoma. We got the attention of both gubernatorial candidates as they made a stop in Guymon with just one week to go before elections. Out here in the Panhandle of Oklahoma, we do not usually get too much attention from statewide candidates. So regardless of anyone’s political affiliation, I thought it was nice to have them both stop by for a visit.

I mean no disrespect by calling these women by their first names, but I am never quite certain how I should refer to them when introduced. “I’m very pleased to meet you, Madam Candidate.” “Nice to meet you, Mrs. er.. ah.. is it Mz?” “Your Honor?” “The pleasures all mine, Ma’am.” One candidate used to be the Lt. Governor and the other holds the office today, so maybe it’s “I am so pleased to meet you Lieutenant, a-ten-hut!” Probably not.

When introduced to men of importance, I feel less uncertainty, less hesitation. “My pleasure, Sir.” “Pleased to meet you Mr. …” There is just no guesswork in it for me when meeting guys.

Fortunately, one of these two outstanding candidates, who happen to both be women, is going to settle this confusion for me. Oklahomans will make history next week when we elect the first women governor of Oklahoma. When I greet one of them I know exactly what I’ll say, “I am very happy to meet you, Governor …, whoever you are.”

I did not get to greet Congresswomen Mary Fallin this trip, although I have been introduced to her in the past. She flew in to our small rural airport and took off again 45 minutes later. She only had a short meet and greet out at the airport. I thought about going out to greet her, but Lt. Governor Jari Askins stopped by my place of business about that same time, so I talked-turkey with her instead.

Actually, we did talk turkey, turkey hunting that is. Although a democrat and trailing in the polls, she supports gun ownership, turkey hunting, and she thinks state question 756 allowing Oklahoma residents to opt-out of federal health care will pass, and said it probably should. She also said she does not pay any attention to the polls. She did mention that MSNBC had contacted her earlier in the day to get a statement about something her opponent had said in a debate recently, but she offered me no details. Then when asked what the differences between her and her opponent were, without hesitation she quipped, “We’re pretty much the same, except my hair is shorter.”

You have to respect a candidate that will not allow the news media to drag them down into the mud along with them. It is certainly too bad that there has to be a loser in this gubernatorial race. These are two fine candidates, nice women, and good people. One thing is for sure though; the people of Oklahoma will not be losers. We will all be winners no matter the outcome next Tuesday, when we go to the polls and elect the first female governor of the fine State of Oklahoma.

Be part of history: Vote!

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