Editorial: Dan Arthrell better candidate for HD 71 seat
BY World's Editorials Writers
Thursday, September 20, 2012
9/20/12 at 3:52 AM
Voters in House District 71, who have waited almost a year for legislative representation, have a clear choice on Nov. 6. Democrat Dan Arthrell offers extensive on-the-ground experience and a tireless commitment to the betterment of the district and the state.
Arthrell, 65, has spent 30 years as a policy analyst and advocate for nonprofit organizations, working in Oklahoma City with lawmakers of both parties and with other government leaders. Seldom do voters get a candidate with this level of expertise running for an open seat.
Arthrell would provide a strong and informed voice for jobs and education and would understand and confront critical issues such as health care, public safety, the environment, state funding and the needs of small business.
Arthrell has more than a passing familiarity with the pressing needs of seniors, children and those with disabilities.
Arthrell is a 37-year resident of the largely midtown district. Like his Republican opponent Katie Henke, 31, Arthrell has not held political office before. Arthrell has worked for the Community Service Council for 33 years.
The District 71 seat formerly held by Rep. Dan Sullivan, R-Tulsa, has been vacant since November when Sullivan resigned to take a job with job with the Grand River Dam Authority.
Arthrell won the April 3 special election by three votes. Henke challenged the outcome, and an April 11 recount showed that sealed boxes containing the ballots had four fewer ballots than election machines and voters' registers had recorded. The Tulsa County Election Board certified Henke the winner by one vote. After certification, election workers reinspected election equipment and found two ballots for Arthrell in a tub that collects ballots under a tallying machine.
In an 8-0 vote, the Oklahoma Supreme Court later ruled it was impossible to determine who had won and voided the election. State Election Secretary Paul Ziriax said there wasn't time for another special election, so the seat would remain open until after the Nov. 6 election.
The close election underscores the importance of every vote.
Henke is a bright and well-connected candidate with deep roots in the Tulsa community. But Arthrell by virtue of his experience and knowledge is better positioned to hit the ground running if elected to the Legislature.
Original Print Headline: For Arthrell