Eight to participate in FOI Oklahoma gubernatorial debate April 28

Eight candidates for Oklahoma governor will debate the First Amendment and government transparency at the Freedom of Information Oklahoma Gubernatorial Debate on Saturday, April 28 in Edmond.

The debate will be from 5 to 7 p.m. at 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 are also members of the FOI Oklahoma board.

Participants include Democrat Drew Edmondson; Republicans Christopher Barnett, Dan Fisher, Gary A. Jones and Blake Cowboy Stephens; and Libertarians Joe Exotic, Rex L. Lawhorn and Chris Powell.

Democrat Connie Johnson and Republicans Barry Gowdy, Gary Richardson, Mick Cornett, Todd Lamb, Kevin State and Eric Foutch were invited to participate but either declined or did not respond.

The debate is sponsored by Freedom of Information Oklahoma, a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting public access to government information and meetings, in partnership with the University of Central Oklahoma’s Mass Communication Department.

The event is free and open to the public. However, these media outlets will livestream the debate for those unable to attend: UCentral Media, The Vista at UCO, NewsOK, KFOR, KOCO and KWTV in Oklahoma City, the Tulsa World and KOTV in Tulsa, and KSWO in Lawton. Other news organizations also may be involved.

FOI Oklahoma was founded in 1990 to protect openness in state government. Activities to achieve that goal include an annual First Amendment Congress for high school students, a Night of Sunshine awards dinner, printing and distribution of Oklahoma’s Open Meetings and Open Records acts, and other such outreach, education and advocacy efforts as are needed.

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