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Commissioner candidates meet in Comanche forum

COMANCHE  Voters had a chance to meet candidates for Stephens County Commissioner District 3 Monday in the Byford Building on Oak Main.

Five Democrats are running for the seat. Voters will go to the polls on Feb. 13 to determine who will fill the unexpired term of Dee Bowen, who retired at the end of December. Both Democrats and independents may vote in the election.

The forum was hosted by the Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Committee, Duncan Noon Lions Club, Stephens County Horse Fair, Duncan Chamber of Commerce and the Duncan Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Terry Bishop

Bishop said he lives on a family-owned and -operated District 3 farm and ranch homestead that has been in his family since 1942. He has served on the board for the Stephens County Farm Home Administration and the Stephens County Fair Board and been president of the Stephens County Livestock Growers Association.

Bishop said the Stephens County Fairgrounds and Expo Center brings a lot of money into the county and he knows there have been some problems there recently, but they are not unsolvable. 

"There's always going to be problems with anything, but I'm ready to get involved," Bishop said.

Tony Mitchell

Mitchell said with the 30 years experience he's had working for District 3 he understands the need of rural communities as well as cities. "I have experienced every level of the county from shoveling asphalt out of the back of a dump truck filling potholes all over county roads and worked my way up to running the grader," Mitchell said. "Although I am a foreman, at times you will still see me running a grader because it's something I love to do."

During his experience with the county, Mitchell said, he's had the privilege of working for two "great commissioners," Gary Ledford and Dee Bowen, and has worked alongside some awesome co-workers who not only fixed roads and bridges, but they also worked as a team to help out with wildfires, icy roads and floods.

 "I look forward to any challenges that we may endure and will be a voice for the people, as to the needs for this district," Mitchell said.

Russell Morgan

Morgan said he's worked for the county more than 20 years and "I think one of the issues we have right now is we all need to work together. We've all got to work together as a unit to make this work. What my vision is for this county, is for other counties across the state to say, 'Wow. How is Stephens County making that work? How do they have such a wonderful fairgrounds? How are they bringing business in every week end and we can't? How do they work together so well at the courthouse?' I want to work together as a unit and I believe in my heart, Stephens County is the greatest county in Oklahoma."

He said he is going to listen to the citizens and he believes a commissioner is a servant of the people. Morgan said he's been involved in business in the county since he was 15 years old when he was sacking groceries at Delbert's Supermarket in Comanche. That's where he learned about customer service and he said he believes customer service is still a top priority. 

 "I want to be your voice at the courthouse to the back roads of Stephens County," Morgan said.

Emzla Pitts

Pitts said he was born in the hospital in Comanche and he has worked as a police officer in Comanche and Ardmore. He also worked for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and his first assignment was for 2 years in Lawton. Now he works for the U.S. Marshal Service providing court security in Lawton.

The Lawton Constitution

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