Oklahoma Representative Kevin McDugle (R-Broken Arrow) is now facing a Democratic challenger after he posted a video rant assailing teachers who are striking in his state.
Republican Oklahoma State Rep Kevin McDugle released this video today disrespecting teachers who simply want proper pay and classroom resources.
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) April 4, 2018
Cyndi Ralston, who has been teaching for 30 years, said she was inspired to run for the 12th District’s seat after McDugle posted his video. She made her decision, in part, because McDugle vowed to vote against education funding during the strike.
Cyndi Ralston, a veteran Oklahoma public school teacher, has announced plans to run against a Republican state lawmaker who vowed to vote against all education funding during the Oklahoma teachers strike. https://t.co/gN6xKZkrIq
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 5, 2018
In his video, McDugle aired frustration with teachers.
Let me tell you something. I’ve voted for every teacher measure to fund them. 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. Our kids follow their example, and this is the example they set? I understand the frustrating, but this is not the way to go about it. You’re losing the support of people who supported you all year long. All year long, we supported you, and now you’re gonna come here and at like this after you got a raise? Go ahead, be pissed at me if you want to.
Wow! I’m having a hard time keeping up with everything this morning. I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone reaching out. You’ll hear more from us today. For now, @JoshMartinOK and I are just getting into the Capitol to fight for #oklaed. #okleg #Ralston4OK pic.twitter.com/q9ftuiC1TA
— Cyndi Ralston (@Cyndi4OK) April 4, 2018
In response, Ralston posted on Facebook that McDugle’s comments “disrespected and denigrated teachers and administrators” who were petitioning the Oklahoma State Legislature for more education funding.
If Kevin McDugle won’t fight for teachers and students, then I will. If Kevin McDugle won’t back parents over oil companies, I will. If Kevin McDugle won’t treat his constituents with respect and dignity, I will.
Rep. Kevin McDugle INITIALLY BASHED THEIR ACTIONS and said they set a bad example for students
— Michael O'Grady (@mog7546) April 4, 2018
Ralston decided to announce her candidacy ahead of schedule, thanks to McDugle’s anti-teacher rant.
For years, my profession has been under siege by our legislature. Budget cut after budget cut have forced us to do ever more with ever less, and it cannot continue on this path. When my colleagues and I have visited our Republican representatives and senators, we have been brushed off, if not outright lied to. Republican members of the legislature have made it crystal clear that they do not believe they work for us, that our concerns do not matter. That disrespect was given a name and a face this morning when Representative McDugle posted his video. I cannot, I will not stand idly by any longer.
@okea My name is Cyndi Ralston and I'm a lifelong educator who is running for Kevin McDugle's seat in District 12. Will you please RT my first tweet to let people know that we have an #oklaed candidate running for #okleg?
— Cyndi Ralston (@Cyndi4OK) April 3, 2018