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State Senator announces bid to run for lieutenant governor

In making a stop at Cameron University's McMahon Centennial Complex Tuesday night, Oklahoma State Sen. Anastasia A. Pittman stated her case for seeking the lieutenant governor's office.

"If you're not at the table," Pittman said, "you're on the menu."

Pittman (D), District 48, made her stop  her third of the day  to address some gathered local educators and share her vision. Calling it "Oklahoma Rise," she said the goal is to help the state ascend from its ranking as No. 49 in teacher pay and education funding. She cited her night's conversation to say that education is the "key" to economic development  one works in-hand with the other.

"I want to take this education conversation to the next level, I want to see Oklahoma rise in rank," Pittman said. "We don't have to be 49th."

Pittman has been serving for 12 years in the state Legislature and before that, she served as a senate staffer. She believes her executive experience as well as background as an educator offers her "unique qualifications." She said her service on several committees  Aerospace and Technology; Banking and Finance; Business, Commerce and Tourism; and Higher Education and Career Tech  has offered background experience essential to the job she's seeking.

"I want people to vote for someone experienced in this," Pittman said. "I want to talk about opportunities and solutions."

"We can't bring businesses into Oklahoma without an educated work force," she said. 

Pittman said the main role of the lieutenant governor post is to promote economic development for the state. Citing the average amount of money spent per Oklahoma student  approximately $8,000 per year  versus the multiple times that amount spent per inmate is an immediate need for change, she said. "We need to reverse those dollars."

The state teacher's strike comes from the right place, Pittman said. She said that although HB 1010xx has passed legislative muster, there have to be bills passed to sustain the revenue for the teacher raises. Otherwise, she said, that money will be replaced from education budgets. 

"You have the right to ask where the revenue is going," Pittman said. "Who are we teaching and how are we marketing our education system."

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