Bryan Co. candidates take part in last-minute debate

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CALERA, OK - Four candidates in Bryan County used the last few days before the election to get out their message.

It was standing room only at the Jack Stockton Community Center in Calera as voters listen in to candidates running for Bryan County Sheriff and District 21 State Representative, less than a week before they cast their ballots.

Tuesday night, candidates for Bryan County Sheriff John Wyatt and Ken Golden, along with District 21 State Representative Candidates, Dustin Roberts and Jerry Tomlinson, took the podium at the Jack Stockton Community Center in Calera for a last minute debate.

"I hope to inform the voters of the many issues that are plaguing the county and the state and what these people plan to do to solve these problems."

Cheyenne Manry, along with seven Calera High School students served as moderators. They asked sheriff's candidates how they'll increase law enforcement presence in small communities like Mead and Cartwright.

"The simple fix is get them out in the county, assign them geographically. They got 16 deputies, they're sitting around in their offices. Too many different specialties, we're gonna get rid of the specialties," said Wyatt.

"My intentions are already go out there and go to the people, you don't have to wait in the office to call for you. You got five days a week to go to community centers and senior centers," said Golden.

Questions were also directed to those in the running for state representative. Both Roberts and Tomlinson tackled questions about Gov. Mary Fallin's income tax proposal, which reduces the state's income tax from 5% to 3%.

Tomlinson said he doesn't support the measure because the state would have to find other sources of revenue.

"You know, no one likes to pay any more taxes than they have to, including me. But the truth is, taxes pay for services that city governments, county governments and state government provide," he said.

But Roberts disagreed.

"We have two state questions in Oklahoma that deal with taxes. The income tax reduction bill and the economy the way it is, people are struggling day to day and hard earned money goes to taxes when it should be going to the pockets of the people here," he said.

At the end of the debate, candidates had the chance to speak with residents and those who attended took a poll on who they think won each debate

Early voting in Oklahoma starts Friday and goes on until Monday. The general elections will be on Tuesday.

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