GROVE, Okla. – Candidates for Oklahoma Senate District 4 race touted their faith, pro-life stance, ancestorial longevity to the area, and their allegiance to the second amendment during Friday’s Delaware County Republican forum.
Keith Barenberg, of Colcord; Hoguen Apperson, of Jay; Tom Woods, of Westville, and Tom Callan, of Jay are jockeying for the top spot during the June 28 primary election.
Senate District 4 covers far eastern Oklahoma, on the Arkansas border. It includes all of Adair County along with most of Delaware and Sequoyah Counties and part of Cherokee County.
The four men each described how their life experiences qualify them for the position.
Tom Callan, of Jay, is a former broadcast reporter and college professor. Callan and his wife own Zena Suri Alpaca Ranch, the 52-herd is a top tourist destination spot in northeast Oklahoma.
Running an alpaca ranch, Calan said he knows how to face and overcome adversity.
Keith Barenberg, of Colcord, has a 33-year career in law enforcement and is a retired state trooper.
“I have taken an oath to protect the people of Oklahoma,” Keith said. “In my 33 years of law enforcement, I have dealt with shootings, and domestic violence situations.”
“I have had few complaints,” Barenberg said of his law enforcement career.
He points to his honesty and his Christian values as his moral compass to integrity.
Hoguen Apperson, of Jay, is a generational rancher, operating the family’s ranch, Circle R Land and Cattle and is also affiliated with AST Storage.
The 5,000-acre ranch has been in his family for six generations and his knowledge of business regulations with AST Storage is a key to the experience he says he brings to the race.
“That’s hard work,” Apperson said referring to the ranching operation.
Apperson said he lives by two principles “Doing what is right when no one is watching and always living by the scripture.”
Tom Woods, of Westville, is a dairy farmer and business owner, who operates a feed store and trucking company. His work ethic is the main component of his life as a man of integrity, he said.
“Everything I am today is due to one cow and hard work,” Woods said.
Woods said as a young man he bought his first cow and now today has a milking operation of over 200 head.
GOALS AS STATE SENATOR
Callan said if elected state senator his goals are to strengthen mental health.
“Mental health must be at the top of the list,” Callan said.
He also backs House Bill 3208 which created a two-year moratorium on cannabis business licensing for dispensaries, processors, and commercial growers in Oklahoma.
“I want to see it extended up to five to 10 years,” Callan said.
Apperson said he wants to strengthen second amendment rights, create jobs and economic growth and return to a strong moral system.
Woods wanted to lower taxes and reverse the socialist trend facing the country and Oklahoma and create a financial education base, teaching approved financial methods.
Barenberg wants to simplify the adoption process in Oklahoma and release money for infrastructure which brings in more business opportunities to the state.
The debate can be viewed on the Delaware County Republican Party’s Facebook page.