Wagoner County deputy challenging Rep. Kevin McDugle for District 12 House seat

Wagoner County Deputy Nick Mahoney is challenging Rep. Kevin McDugle for the Republican nomination for the District 12 House of Representatives seat. (KTUL/File)

TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) -- Wagoner County Deputy Nick Mahoney has announced his plans to run for the District 12 seat in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

Mahoney, who previously served as a spokesman for the Wagoner County Sheriff's Office, is challenging incumbent Rep. Kevin McDugle who stirred up controversy Tuesday when he chastised teachers amid the ongoing teacher walkout.

"Let me tell you something, I voted for every teacher measure to fund them all last year," McDugle said in a now-deleted Facebook Live video. "It took us a year and a half to pass it. And now, they come into this House, they want to act this way. I'm not voting for another stinking measure when they're acting the way they're acting."

Mahoney released the following statement upon seeing the video.

"The mass majority of Oklahomans stand with our teachers," said Mahoney. "As a father of public school students, I want what's best for their education. I want them to have the best teachers, schools and funding possible. For any public figure, especially a state representative to respond the way he did is uncalled for and unprofessional. That's the people's house and should be held as such."

Mahoney is challenging McDugle for the Republican nomination in June. He says the state has a spending problem, not a revenue problem, and aims to eliminate government waste, not raise taxes. He says every state agency should be audited and be held accountable for their budget.

“I originally announced my bid for District 12 in March,” said Mahoney. “Since then, I’ve met with many people from my district who have been all too happy to discuss Oklahoma’s current situation. They aren’t happy. They are very concerned about our schools, our teachers, our children and our future. They also are concerned about millions of dollars in tax hikes that will not be the sustainable answer for our problems.”

Mahoney attended Oklahoma State University and has spent his entire career in law enforcement. He is a certified law enforcement instructor and was named “Police Officer of the Year” while serving on the Guymon Police Department. Mahoney has been with the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Department since 2011 and lives in Broken Arrow.

“As a peace officer, I took a vow to serve the citizens of my community and state,” said Mahoney. “I now want to be able to do more for those in my county and this state by serving as their voice in the state house. “

Following McDugle's controversial Facebook Live Tuesday, a longtime teacher, Cyndi Ralston, announced plans to run for the District 12 seat as a Democrat.

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