Candidates, constituents meet and greet at the Cain's
BY RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
6/19/12 at 6:23 AM
candidates and find your voting
Monday's crowd at the Cain's Ballroom was not your usual mob of music lovers. This one, in fact, cleared out as soon as the band started.
The exodus had nothing to do with the quality of the performance; it was just that these folks came to talk politics, not rock 'n' roll.
A crowd that peaked at an estimated 300 shared pizza and cold beverages with about 35 candidates during a two-hour "meet and greet" at the old dance hall.
Sponsored by Tulsa's Young Professionals and KRMG, the events have become a regular fixture on the city's political calender in recent years, and this one might have been the biggest one yet.
"It went very well," said Scott Gaffen, one of the organizers. "It was packed for a good hour and a half."
Most of the candidates who attended are entered in the June 26 Republican primary, but a few brave Democrats whose names won't appear on a ballot until November showed up, too.
So did at least one legislator who doesn't have an election at all this year.
State Rep. David Derby, R-Owasso, said he came "just to be open and for the people of District 74 to see my door is open."
Derby, for the first time since winning the seat in 2006, has no opponent this year. But he said he was able to talk to some constituents Monday night, anyway.
Rhonda Holt said she found the evening beneficial.
"I feel very strongly that it's my responsibility to be an informed voter," she said. "This was an opportunity to compare and contrast some of the candidates and to ask questions that were important to me."
The candidates were stationed at bar tables arranged on the dance floor so that people could mingle and talk, rather than listen to a minute or two from each of the hopefuls.
Stuart McDaniel, a worker for one of the legislative candidates, said he thought things went pretty well for his candidate.
"Every time I looked over, she had three people with her. I'm happy with it."
Not everyone was. Andrew Paley said he was upset at the number of "women politicos" without children, which he said is a "tragedy."
"They all want careers," he said.
Stan Pape said he doesn't live in any of the legislative districts represented but was still glad he came.
"This is a great forum," he said. "It's a chance for the public to see who the candidates are."
Michael Craddock, who is active in the local Republican Party, said he wanted to become more familiar with the candidates.
"What I liked about it is that you get to put a face to a name," he said.
Original Print Headline: Candidates meet constituents
Randy Krehbiel 918-581-8365
State Senate District 33 candidate Don Little (left) visits with Tulsa's Young Professionals member Josh Lewis and Marisa Draeger during a TYPros candidate "meet and greet" Monday evening at the Cain's Ballroom. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World
House District 71 candidate Dan Arthrell (center) chats with TYPros members Jesse Crawford and Betsy Lefholz at Monday evening's event. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World