A look at the Congressional race ahead of primary elections
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) —
With early voting already underway for next Tuesday's primary election, the candidates in the 1st Congressional District are fighting for all the support they can get.
Ten candidates will be on the ballot, five from each party.
While seven have filed campaign finance records with the federal government, all but one of the top fundraisers are Republicans.
Businessman Kevin Hern is the top fundraiser.
He said his biggest concern is that Washington gets in the way of jobs and growth, so fixing government overreach is his biggest issue.
"We've got to push the federal government out of the way of the job creators and make it smaller," Hern said. "Bring back the free market, enterprise, ideas. That’s what I know; I've seen it firsthand across the country."
He said there are business people all over the country who want to put people to work, and that will free them from government dependency.
Republican Andy Coleman is a veteran, attorney and missionary who is also running against the federal government.
He said federal overspending is his top concern.
Coleman said, "It's irresponsible. I recognize it as a moral failure. I see it as a national security vulnerability. So, to be able to shore that up would be a crucial priority for me."
Coleman said his background equips him with the tools to help fill the leadership vacuum in congress.
Former Tulsa District Attorney Tim Harris said his negotiating skills can make a difference for the district’s voters by cutting spending and getting the government out of their lives.
Harris said, “They have too much control in the lives of people in Oklahoma. I want to try and lessen that. I want to draw more decision-making power to the state of Oklahoma, and especially, the local level, and especially, education."
Another contender is Republican State Senator Nathan Dahm, who's also been involved with the ministry.
He's been out conducting a door-to-door campaign.
Dahm said his top concern is getting the federal government back to following the Constitution.
Dahm said, "I see a lot of the problems we're dealing with right now are because the federal government is too involved in our affairs, and they’re not following the Constitution. I think if we just get back to the Constitution and have the government handle what they’re responsible for and leave the rest of it to we the people.”
Democrat Tim Gilpin is leading the fundraising struggle in his party.
He’s a Tulsa Attorney and former member of the state school board who's endorsed by the Oklahoma Education Association.
He said he's upset by the chaos in Washington and wants to help congress find some common ground.
Gilpin said he wants to continue his history of public service and change the game for Oklahoma schools.
"I know where the money comes from on the state level and the federal level. Every year, the congress runs an education bill our congressman should be fighting for our fair share of that to come back to the district to supplement the districts within the 1st Congressional District, and right now, we're just not doing it."
Gilpin said he thinks he can help our starving schools by being flexible and working with both parties.
One thing our candidates from both parties have in common, is that they’re all running against the status quo at the capitol building.