Thursday, May 10, 2018

Sen. Mark Allen Announces Re-Election Bid

Sen. Mark Allen of Spiro, a Republican, has announced his candidacy for re-election of the office of State Senate District No. 4 with the following statement:

“Mark Allen has served as District 4 Senator for 8 years and seeks a third and final term. Term limits are 12 years.

“Mark is a lifelong Oklahoman, born in Enid and graduated high school at Wilburton and attended Eastern State College in Wilburton for one year, before joining the U.S. Navy Seabees in 1968. He served 2 years in the Seabees and received an Honorable Discharge. Mark returned to college at Central State majoring in accounting but after a year and a half, he ran out of money and moved back to Spiro and started working for his dad in his oil and gas business.

“While in high school, I met my wife, Nikki. But it wasn’t until 27 years later, I went to her 25th class reunion and then 6 months later, we were married. It’s amazing and a blessing how God brings people together. We have two children, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. We are members of Victory Worship Center in Spiro.

“We currently own and operate Allen Rathole, Inc., which has been in business 55 years. Upon my parent’s retirement, we bought the business in 1989.

“We also owned the Horse House with locations in Spiro and Sallisaw, and Oklahoma Horse Supply, a wholesale business that supplied saddles and tack to retail stores and Co-ops in Eastern Oklahoma and Western Arkansas.

“Workers’ Comp was my first priority when elected. After a lot of research and working with other legislators, we completely re-wrote the Oklahoma Workers’ Comp laws. Once this bill passed into law, the result was lower rates which resulted in a friendlier environment to draw businesses to Oklahoma.

“In order for Oklahoma to prosper, businesses have to prosper. Businesses employ people, supply goods and services and pay taxes into the state. Use tax, sales tax, income tax, fuel tax, motor vehicle tax, property and ad valorem tax and licensing fees; this is the money used to fund our core services which includes education.

“There have been too many regulations and mandates, tax credits and exemptions, including sales tax and ad valorem exemptions. These exemptions of past legislators impact General Revenue, which is the money legislators have to appropriate to support core services including our schools. Since I’ve been in office, we have done extensive reform in addressing credits and exemptions that are outdated and nonperforming. In 2011, the Teachers Retirement System was funded less than 48% and is now funded at 72%. The ODOT Roads Fund has been fully funded. The County Improvement Roads and Bridge Fund has gone from zero to $120 million. The Budget that passed this legislative session provided Common Ed the largest budget in state history at 2.9 billion appropriated dollars, over a 19% increase.

“I am an endowment member of the NRA, a life member of the National Sporting Clay Association, member of the Congressional Sportsman Foundation, on the Board of Directors for the Pajoro Gun Club and life member of AQHA and a member of OQHRA.

“In 2016, I was elected Majority Whip. Committee appointments include: Chairman of Energy, member of Education, Appropriations, Transportation, Rules, Sub Committee Appropriations and Budget on Select Agencies, and Co-Chairman of the Senate Sportsman Caucus. Also, I have been appointed to the Energy Council which consists of the top 12 energy producing states and 2 Canadian Provinces.

“Senate District 4 is the northern part of LeFlore County and all of Sequoyah County. I was elected to represent the 78,137 people in this district, equally and fairly. There is still work to be done on reform and funding. I am asking for your vote to continue serving Senate District 4.

“The Primary Election is June 26, 2018 and the General Election is November 6, 2018. If you would like signs or would like to help in any way, please call 918-962-2856.

Pam Cloud, Managing News Director

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