Eric on Podium

We’ve got our work cut out for us, all we have to do is look at our stats nationally, not related to football.  We’re number one in veteran suicides, particularly the 18-34 demo, we’re number one in female incarceration rates, number two in male incarceration rates, number nine in overdose deaths involving opioids, and 13 in suicides.  These are staggering numbers…soul crushing numbers…these are our family members, our friends, our neighbors.  This paints a bleak picture of a people without hope and our current serving ‘leaders’ have done nothing but apply a slash and burn to our core services to bring this situation about.  We have to start with funding, as a lifelong conservative I understand the aversion to high taxation and limited government, however our current leaders seem to be more in line with the Libertarian’s belief that ‘taxation is theft’ and that somehow government can exist without it.  Shortly after filing for governor, my inbox began filling up with questionnaires about what I’d do about this, and whether I’d pledge not to do that.  One of the earliest ones asked me if I’d sign a pledge to never raise taxes.  Now the last thing I want to do is raise taxes, you earned your money, I want you to be able to keep as much of it as possible, however, with the current state of our state, with massive shortfalls, budgetary chaos, I refuse to tie my hands…I would want every option on the table.  Taking that pledge, I believe that would be one of the most irresponsible things I could do.  As far as the audits go…sure I want to see where our tax dollars are going, especially with the colossal ineptitude with the Oklahoma Dept of Public Health and the fact that in a national study of government transparency our state received an ‘F’…that kind of bothers me and it should bother/enrage everybody.  I do want to see a full audit of everything, however our teachers and our populace cannot wait for us to take action to fund our State’s core services.  A tax is a tool and can be managed wisely, between the extremes of the liberal mantra “Tax and Spend” and the Oklahoma GOP mantra “Taxation is Theft” we can find some common ground.

FAMILY

Family is everything to me.  

On May 13th, 2004 I married the love of my life Jennifer Given.  Life and the Air Force has brought us many adventures including living in some amazing places such as Incirlik Turkey, RAF Coughton UK, and back to our home at Tinker AFB.  Our time overseas gave us even more opportunity to explore other countries and experience different Cultures.  As you can see below our family has grown and we are very blessed to have 3 daughters and 1 son. 

TRAVEL

Local from Nepal

At the age of 24 I wanted to travel the world and learn as much as I could about other cultures.  My trip began in France and extended into Germany, Italy, India, Nepal, and Thailand.  It was an incredible experience that gave me perspective and appreciation for the freedoms and liberties we have in our great country.  

 

UNITED STATES AIR FORCE

The feeling you get when you serve something greater than yourself is priceless.

Serving in the United States Air Force was some of the greatest and most difficult times of my life.  I learned how to be a follower, a leader, a friend, a mentor, and most of all a servant.


Kabul, 2005

EDUCATION

Our children are our future, let's leave them with something better.

Upon retiring from the Air Force I became a Native American Educator for McLoud Public Schools.  I have always had a passion for teaching.  My time at McLoud has given me the opportunity to see first hand the negative impact our legislation has had on our schools.  It's time to stand up and make some changes.