Democratic incumbent Collin Walke became the representative for House District 87 in 2016 when he defeated Republican Bruce Lee Smith by a few hundred votes.
Republican Jason Nelson held the seat from 2008 to 2016. Walke lost to Nelson in 2014, however, Nelson decided not to seek re-election despite not fully reaching his term limit.
Walke ran unopposed in 2018 and now Republican newcomer challenger Valerie Walker is trying to turn the tables once again. The district covers parts of Oklahoma City and Warr Acres.
The following is a review of each candidate’s platforms based on their responses to Free Press’s candidate questionnaire, which only Walke completed, and other research.
With less than a month left until the November elections, Free Press will be providing coverage of races in the Oklahoma City metro area in depth. By doing so, we hope that you, the reader, gain a better understanding of the choices that you will have on November 3.HD87-Reduced
Walke is a practicing litigation attorney and authored five bills that have been signed into law by the governor.
He attributes his relatively high rate of bill passage to the quality of his policy making.
“The reality is that good legislation transcends political divides,” Walke wrote. “For example, I am currently working with a Republican legislator on data-privacy legislation. Data privacy is not – and should not – be a partisan issue.”
Walke’s main platform points are education, criminal justice reform, and Medicaid expansion.
He is a vocal supporter of increasing education funding and walked among teachers at the 2018 teacher strike. And even with the roughly $500 million increase in the state’s education budget, Walke believes there is still a need for increases in education funding.
One way Walke believes that education funding can be improved is through changing how schools are funded by property taxes.
The representative believes that the state’s struggle with over-incarceration can be partly alleviated through strengthening the drug court system, which would keep non-violent offenders who are struggling with mental health and addiction out of prison.
He believes that medicaid expansion is crucial to the state because there needs to be less of a financial burden put on rural hospitals.
“This is not simply a rural problem either, as many urban hospitals provide care that ends up being unreimbursed, resulting in higher healthcare costs for everyone,” Walke wrote on his website.
On her website, Walker described how she helps take care of her family’s farm in Western Oklahoma and served as a leader in her church as a vacation bible school instructor and a mission trip leader.
She also has been volunteering to help the homeless since she was a teenager.
The issues that she writes the most about on her website are gun rights and banning abortion.
She believes in second amendment rights and has been endorsed by the Oklahoma 2nd Amendment Association.
On abortion, she wrote, “[my] passion to protect the pre-born from conception to birth cannot be swayed as [I] know, abortion IS murder and murder is illegal and should be abolished.”
On her Facebook page, you can read her thoughts on current events and other campaign updates.
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