On July 11, voters in Oklahoma House District 75 will pick a replacement for former Rep. Dan Kirby, who resigned.
The choices are Republican Tressa Nunley and Democrat Karen Gaddis.
Nunley is a Tulsa businesswoman and Realtor who has been endorsed by the Tulsa Beacon, the Oklahoma Conservative PAC, Tulsa County Assessor Ken Yazel, Tim Harris and Sen. Joe Newhouse.
“We were impressed with the way she articulated fiscal conservatism and the need to champion liberty,” said John Michener, president of OCPAC.
Nunley has been a licensed realtor since 2005, with previous experience in administration with Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City and St. John Medical Center in Tulsa, as well as an Employee Programs Coordinator in Strategic Practices for Williams Communications. She has a business administration degree from the University of Oklahoma.
“I believe that both my business and life experience have uniquely qualified me to represent the needs of individuals and families. I know that I can put that experience to work in advancing fiscal responsibility and opportunities for job growth,” Nunley said.
Nunley is a graduate of Nathan Hale High School. She and her family are members of Tulsa Bible Church.
Gaddis lost to Kirby, a Republican, in 2016 with about 40 percent of the vote. She has been endorsed by the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, Oklahomans for Public Schools and South Tulsa Metro Public Education Advocates.
Gaddis wants more education for Oklahomans from “infants to senior citizens.” She believes that improving public education would make the state more attractive for economic development which would finance expansion of publicly funded social services.
“Without good and successful public schools and without a trained and educated work force, the state will not be able to attract and maintain businesses,” she wrote on her campaign website.
Gaddis wants more federal funding for healthcare and childcare.
“We cannot continue to rip hope out of the grip of our working-poor families by denying them affordable childcare and from our mentally ill by denying them services and from our foster children by denying them a safe and secure family environment,” she wrote. “Churches and charities cannot be expected to pick up the complete burden.”
Gaddis taught at Whitney Elementary Schools, Edison Junior High School and Memorial High School in a 40-year career with Tulsa Public Schools. She and her family are members of Boston Avenue Methodist Church in Downtown Tulsa. She has volunteered for the American Red Cross, the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetic Association, Exodus House, the Tulsa Mental Health Association and was a mentor at McLain High School.