FOI Oklahoma announces gubernatorial debate

All candidates expected to file for governor have been invited to participate in a debate on open government next month sponsored by Freedom of Information Oklahoma, a nonprofit organization that promotes access to government through open meetings and records.

The FOI Oklahoma Gubernatorial Debate will be held from 5-7 p.m., April 28, in Constitution Hall at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond. Dick Pryor, general manager of KGOU radio, and Alex Cameron of KWTV will moderate. Pryor and Cameron also are members of the FOI Oklahoma board.

The debate will focus on government transparency and the First Amendment, FOI Oklahoma President Joe Wertz said.

“The public has a right to know what their government is doing — on their behalf and with their tax money,” he said. “The debate will give the public an opportunity to probe the candidates’ positions on free speech, assembly and access to government.”

The event is free and open to the public. The event also will be live-streamed by UCO Media, NewsOK, KOTV in Tulsa, KSWO in Lawton, and Oklahoma City stations KFOR, KOCO and KWTV.

The candidate filing period is April 12-13.

Democrat Drew Edmondson, Republicans Gary Jones and Dan Fisher, and Libertarians Chris Powell and Joseph Maldonado have agreed to participate in the debate.

Other announced candidates also have been invited, including:

  • Democrat Constance Johnson
  • Republican Kevin Stitt
  • Republican Todd Lamb
  • Republican Mick Cornett
  • Republican Gary Richardson

For more information and updates or to become a member of FOI Oklahoma, go to foioklahoma.org.

Founded in 1990, FOI Oklahoma is a statewide organization actively supporting those organizations and individuals working to open records or provide access to meetings illegally closed. Activities to achieve that goal include asking political candidates to sign an open government pledge, providing resources educating the public about the state’s open government laws, and organizing an annual First Amendment Congress for high school students.

 

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