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Rep. Mark Vancuren, R-Owasso, pictured studying bills in the House chamber in April 2019. Courtesy photo

State Rep. Mark Vancuren, R-Owasso, announced that he is running for a second term for House District 74 in 2020.

Vancuren was a basketball coach and teacher at Owasso from 2004 until his resignation in spring 2017. He assumed office at the Oklahoma Capitol in Nov. 2018.

The former Ram graduate said he wanted to seek reelection for the same reasons he first put his name on the ballot two years ago.

“I just love being a part of trying to help Owasso be the best possible place for people to live and work,” Vancuren said. “I’ve enjoyed it so far, so I’m going to run again.”

Already fascinated by politics, Vancuren’s decision to initially throw his hat into the ring as a candidate was inspired by another Owasso teacher and former assistant coach, J.J. Dossett (D), who successfully ran for the Oklahoma State Senate in 2016.

Vancuren said he plans continue working on a variety of measures, including a bill that focuses on protecting elementary teachers — particularly those in kindergarten through fifth grade — from assault by students at school.

“We’re seeing a lot of circumstances where teachers are being assaulted and don’t feel safe in the classroom,” he said, “and I’m going to initiate hopefully some legislation that would address that.”

He also talked about stepping up his focus in the oil and gas sector, Medicaid expansion, criminal justice reform, gaming compacts and more.

“I’m looking forward to a great year,” Vancuren said. “Hopefully I’m doing that to the best of my ability to where the people of District 74 are represented at the Capitol in a positive way.”

The second regular session of the 57th Oklahoma Legislature will convene on Monday, Feb. 3.