After state Rep. Kevin McDugle, R-Broken Arrow, said Tuesday that he didn't think protesting teachers were setting a good example for students, a northeast Oklahoma teacher announced plans to run against him.
Rep. Kevin McDugle, R-Broken Arrow, said in a since-deleted Facebook Live post that he would not vote "for another stinking (education) measure when they're acting the way they're acting."
Cyndi Ralston, a Haskell Public Schools teacher who has been an educator for 30 years, announced on her social media accounts Tuesday afternoon that she is running as a Democrat to represent the people of District 12.
Ralston wrote in a Facebook post that McDugle's video "disrespected and denigrated teachers and administrators" who went to the Capitol to advocate for increased education funding.
"If Kevin McDugle won’t fight for teachers and students, then I will," Ralston wrote in the post. "If Kevin McDugle won’t back parents over oil companies, I will. If Kevin McDugle won’t treat his constituents with respect and dignity, I will."
McDugle — who represents Broken Arrow, Coweta, Fair Oaks, Okay, Porter, Redbird, Tullahassee and Wagoner — said he voted for each funding measure to support education last year, but what he's seen during the walkout has changed his mind.
He later apologized for how his message came across.
Ralston said she hadn't planned to make the announcement public until after filing for office, but the "events of the day" moved her to do so. She had filed last week with the Ethics Commission her intention to campaign.
She wrote that her campaign will be focused on teacher and staff pay, classroom funding and creating opportunities for our children.
She also plans to address health care and criminal justice reform.
Ralston previously taught at Broken Arrow Public Schools.