Gov. Brad Henry was on the campaign trail Thursday afternoon, but not for himself.

The governor visited Woodward to boost fellow Democrat Bowdy Peach’s candidacy for the open District 27 State Senate seat.

Peach is running against Republican Bryce Marlatt for the seat being vacated by term-limited Sen. Owen Laughin, R-Woodward. The race is one of three or four statewide that could determine which party controls the senate for the next two years. Currently the senate is tied with 24 Democrats and 24 Republicans.

Gov. Henry said Peach would bring some Northwest Oklahoma common sense to the state capital.

“He will listen to the people in this area and fight to protect rural schools and fight for the rural way of life,” said Gov. Henry in describing Peach. “This is not about partisanship, we shouldn’t elect people to go to the capital to represent a party or political agenda. We need to elect a person who will fight for Northwest Oklahoma against the tough special interests at the capital.”

Peach, a fourth generation farmer-rancher in the area and the son of current secretary and commissioner of agriculture Terry Peach, pointed out that agriculture and oil and gas are the lifeblood of the area.

“We need tax incentives keep the drilling continuing,” said Peach.

The Mooreland native, who is also a businessman in the area and a professional bull rider, also promised his support for rural schools and improved education funding, and said he would fight for tax dollars that never seem to make it back to the area.

“Millions of tax dollars go downstate and don’t make it back,” Peach said. “We need a proactive senator willing to fight and buck the system for those tax dollars.”

While campaigning, Gov. Henry also took time to point out the positives going on in Oklahoma these days.

“It’s important to understand how wonderful a state we live in,” he said. “Sometimes we forget to stop and appreciate how great we have it here in Oklahoma.”

Henry pointed to a low cost of living, strong schools and outstanding quality of life.

“We need to be a little more prideful and boastful bout our state,” the governor said. “Since statehood Oklahoma has been one of the nation’s best-kept secrets and I’ve worked the last six years to expose that and people are starting to see it.”

Henry said Oklahoma’s efforts to control the production of methamphetamine have been adopted by a number of states and the federal government.

In addition, the state continues to be a leader in early childhood education. Henry said Oklahoma’s early education programs are recognized nationally and internationally.

The governor said Oklahoma’s economy continues to be stable and strong.

“We lead the nation in increase in the value of our homes,” he said.

Henry said Oklahoma was among the top five nationally in increase in per capita income and had one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates.

For the upcoming legislative session in February, Henry said one of his priorities would be rural economic development and bringing quality, good-paying jobs to rural Oklahoma.

First Lady Kim Henry also accompanied the governor on the western trip, which included a stop in Shattuck later Thursday.

The campaign event and reception was held downtown in the Josie Adams Cultural Center.

Trending Video