In The Know: Gubernatorial candidates face off over school vouchers and negative ads | Adderall shortage hits Oklahoma | Voting for tomorrow’s tomorrows

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Some stories included here are behind paywall or require subscription. OK Policy encourages the support of Oklahoma’s state and local media, which are vital to an informed citizenry. Subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

New from OK Policy

Policy Matters: Voting for tomorrow’s tomorrows: As the days wind down to the Nov. 8 general election, it’s important to realize that the decisions we make today should reflect both what’s best for this generation and what can improve the lives of those who will follow us. Taking the long view should remind us that the acts of governance are not a short-term game. [Shiloh Kantz / Journal Record]

Oklahoma News

What you should know about the spending in the governor’s race: Pre-election campaign finance reports for state candidates were due Monday and provided the final look at fundraising and spending figures ahead of next week’s gubernatorial election. It already appears Republican Kevin Stitt and Democrat Joy Hofmeister will surpass the amount of money spent in the 2018 election. [The Oklahoman]

State Government News

Forum focuses on medical marijuana industry: Four years in, Oklahoma’s medical marijuana industry is finally reaching a point where the market and regulators can begin to catch up with its huge initial growth spurt. A panel of industry experts discussed the state of the industry Wednesday at the Oklahoma City Economic Roundtable, held at Oklahoma City University’s Meinders School of Business. [Journal Record]

Voting and Election News

Stitt, Hofmeister bring their gubernatorial campaigns to Tulsa: Republican incumbent Kevin Stitt and Democratic challenger Joy Hofmeister are on different paths during the final days of their gubernatorial campaigns, but both led to Tulsa on Wednesday. [Tulsa World]

Lankford appears back on track; newcomer Madison Horn wants to derail him: Since winning his first election 12 years ago, U.S. Sen. James Lankford has been one of Oklahoma’s most popular office-holders. He won a crowded GOP U.S. Senate primary in 2014 and received more votes than Donald Trump did in Oklahoma in the 2016 general election. [Tulsa World]

State Superintendent Candidate Jena Nelson Outlines Priorities: Jena Nelson, the Democratic candidate in the state superintendent race, held a rally in Moore to outline her priorities if elected. [Ponca City Now]

Joy Hofmeister hammers voucher threat in rural Oklahoma: As the lights were about to be turned off at the community building where Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joy Hofmeister had just spoken, Cache Public Schools Superintendent Chad Hance summed up the Nov. 8 election as a fight to protect his district from Gov. Kevin Stitt’s school voucher proposal. [NonDoc]

In rural Oklahoma, Kevin Stitt calls dark money attacks ‘unbelievable’: Stitt said his administration has spent more on public education than any predecessor. He said a $25 million negative television advertising campaign funded by “dark money” political action committees — which he believes are supported largely by leaders of Native American tribes who have endorsed Hofmeister — is misleading voters about his support for public education. [NonDoc]

In Oklahoma County DA election, first-timer seeks upset over veteran of 11 political races: The longtime knock on the Republican is that he is a career politician. Now in his 11th political race, this time for Oklahoma County district attorney, he is trying to turn that into a positive. [The Oklahoman]

Corporation Commission candidates disagree on utility securitization: University of Tulsa law professor and water and energy resources expert Warigia Bowman, Sen. Kim David (R-Porter) and independent Don Underwood are on the Nov. 8 ballot for an open seat on the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, a constitutional body with broad regulatory authority that often flies under the public radar. [NonDoc]

Column: Rally behind candidates that are going to be smarter on crime and our tax dollars: At the gubernatorial debate Oct. 25, along with the topic of the death penalty, Democratic candidate Joy Hofmeister made the assertion that Oklahoma has a higher violent crime rate than both New York and California ― a claim that has since been confirmed. [Jasmine Thomas Guest Column / The Oklahoman]

Health News

The Adderall shortage has made its way to Oklahoma: Workforce problems, federal regulations and an increase in demand are creating a shortage of ADD and ADHD medications. Oklahomans are feeling the strain. [KOSU]

Gov. Kevin Stitt’s crisis pregnancy task force issues recommendations: A new task force intended to help women through crisis pregnancies recommends state leaders expand Medicaid coverage and other benefits for poor pregnant and postpartum women in addition to creating a state brand and website centered on parenting resources. [The Oklahoman]

Criminal Justice News

Edmond representative accused of DUI, offers to call governor: Police found Martinez inside his running car in the parking lot of an Edmond bar on Oct. 26, according to an Edmond police report. “Would you like me to call Kevin (Stitt) right now?” Martinez asked officers, according to their written report. [The Oklahoman]

Education News

OU Health, OKC schools partner in new telehealth program: A new partnership between Oklahoma City Public Schools and OU Health to provide telehealth services and health education to students could bring real benefits to kids and their families. [The Journal Record]

  • OU Health partnering with OKCPS to provide school-based telehealth program [KTUL]

General News

21 more unmarked graves are discovered in the Tulsa Race Massacre investigation: Researchers have unearthed an additional 21 unmarked adult graves that could be linked to victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. [KOSU]

Editorial: Leaders can’t promote political violence then act shocked when it happens: The 82-year-old husband of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the latest victim of politically motivated violence, a rapidly increasing problem. [Tulsa World]

Chris Hayes: The myth of crime as a big-city, blue-state problem: Yes, crime is up. But it is not only happening in big cities in blue states, despite what Republicans across the country and Fox News would like you to believe. [Commentary / MSNBC]

Oklahoma Local News

City council imposes more regulations on small cell wireless providers: City councilors on Wednesday tightened regulations on small cell service providers and other utilities that install their equipment in public rights of way. [Tulsa World]

Quote of the Day

“If particular geographical areas turn out 5% more, those areas will have an astounding impact on the results reported on Nov. 8. When we decide not to vote in elections, we are saying that our votes and voices don’t matter.”

– Andrea Benjamin, Ph.D., Associate Professor at The Clara Luper Department of African & African American Studies at the University of Oklahoma, and Sen. George E. Young Sr., D-OKC, speaking on the influence and importance of every ballot cast in Oklahoma, which has one of the worst voter turnout rankings in the country. [The Oklahoman]

Number of the Day


Rate of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in Oklahoma. [Oklahoma State Department of Health]

Policy Note

The Next Steps To Advance Maternal And Child Health In Medicaid: Filling Gaps In Postpartum Coverage And Newborn Enrollment: Efforts to advance evidence-based postpartum care are crucial at a time when our nation’s maternal mortality rate—already vastly higher than those in other industrialized nations—continues to rise. Positive health outcomes for mothers and infants are determined largely by the health of women when they become pregnant, continuous high-quality care throughout pregnancy and delivery, and comprehensive, continuous postpartum care. Therefore, medical experts have emphasized the importance of optimizing postpartum care and support. [Health Affairs]

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Hana Saad joined OK Policy in August 2022 as the Communications and Operations Fellow. She graduated from the University of Tulsa with degrees in Media Studies and English and is part of Phi Beta Kappa, an academic honor society. At TU, Hana regularly wrote for The Collegian and was the Co-Editor of the Stylus Journal of Art and Writing. She also serves on the team at Puppy Haven Rescue to help in their mission of saving rescue dogs across Oklahoma. Hana is eager to learn more about public policy in Oklahoma and use her skills to support the OKP work to build a more equitable state. In her free time, she loves to read fiction and poetry, walk her dog, and make copious cups of tea.

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