Friday, November 7, 2008

Faught, McPeak re-elected to state House

Editor's Note. We congratulate Rep Faught on his victory. We hope that he will now help to work for passage of Nick's Law. We also congratulate Eugene Blankenship on a courageous campaign to speak for the children and adults with autism.

Faught, McPeak re-elected to state House
By Liz McMahanAssistant City Editor

November 05, 2008 02:19 am— Republican George Faught won his second term in the state House of Representatives Tuesday, this time by a bigger margin than two years ago.He won the District 14 race against Democrat Eugene Blankenship by more than 1,400 votes. Two years ago, Faught won by 670 votes over challenger Jeff Potts.“It seems like this race, in a lot of ways, was tougher than last time,” Faught told a group of more than 100 who had gathered at his victory party in Muskogee’s 7th and 8th Grade Center’s media center. Faught pledged to his supporters that he will not become a professional politician but will stay in touch with his people.“We’re still going to be who we are because that’s who we are,” he said.

Meanwhile, Jerry McPeak declared victory early in the evening in his District 13 race against Republican Debbie Lienhart. With McPeak taking about 70 percent of the vote, that race was never a contest during the evening.Speaking at the Democrat watch party at the Muskogee Fairgrounds, McPeak said he was both flattered and humbled by his win. “To win by this kind of margin, we had to get Republican votes as well as Democrats; we had to get city votes as well as rural ones,” McPeak said.While both McPeak and Faught savored their victories, both also started looking toward the next legislative session, saying it is filled with both challenges and opportunities.

McPeak said many of the challenges will come in the area of lower state revenues. While lower fuel prices are good for consumers, lower oil prices are bad for the state economy, he said.However, the state also is poised for great opportunity with its wind and other energy resources, McPeak said. Muskogee is especially well positioned to turn these challenges into opportunities with its access to transportation, especially navigation.

Faught also said Muskogee is well positioned for the future because of its port. Oklahoma should attract new business with its natural resources and low cost of living.He said he hopes the state Legislature will come together to address such issues as worker’s compensation reform and tort reform.

Blankenship said he congratulated Faught on the win. He said it was a good campaign and he hopes it drew Faught’s attention to some areas that need to be addressed.Blankenship said this was his first venture into politics and “This is not the end of a political career for me.”
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