Rep. Jason Nelson faces Orwig’s challenge in District 87

By Patrick B. McGuigan

Published: 23-Jun-2010

State Rep. Jason Nelson, Republican incumbent in House District 87, did not draw a primary foe during this year’s candidate filing. In November, Nelson faces Dana Orwig, the Democrat he defeated in 2008.

In an interview with CapitolBeatOK, Nelson said he had been “honored to serve my neighbors” for two years, and “with their permission I plan to do so again.” Nelson said he intended to remain “a common sense conservative voice at the Capitol” promoting policies “that attract new higher paying jobs and empower small businesses.”

He reflected on the budget difficulties of the 2009 and 2010 legislative sessions, stating he would continue to encourage fellow legislators to “prioritize spending around the most vital of public services: public safety, getting resources to classroom teachers, transportation infrastructure and health services.” Nelson has also pressed for government transparency.

In his freshman term, Rep. Nelson was co-chairman of the adoption law review task force, and served on a foster care reform oversight panel. He reflected on that work: “Whether you are pro-choice or pro-life, we can all agree that we must restore the integrity of adoptions in Oklahoma by reforming our adoption laws. We can also agree that we are not meeting our moral obligations when it comes to taking care of children in the DHS system. We must work together to solve the crisis in our foster care system, as well as improve special education and disability services.”

Nelson said he wants to be “a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.”

Nelson continued, “I am personally most excited about the nationally recognized special education school choice program I authored.”

House Bill 3393 created the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program which was signed by Governor Brad Henry earlier this month.

bipartisan reform will allow students with disabilities to qualify for a scholarship to attend any participating private school accredited by the state. This historic reform was accomplished without any new spending by simply providing parents with more options. Oklahoma is only the sixth state to enact this very popular and effective program.”

Nelson reflected, “I have enjoyed serving all the people of House District 87 — a politically diverse area that I am proud to represent.  All of the major reform bills I’ve introduced have included a bipartisan list of coauthors and supporters. I think my ability to bring divergent interests together to promote the common good explains why I have had such a successful first term.”

Concerning his rematch with Orwig, Nelson told CapitolBeatOK, “I’m looking forward to the campaign this summer and fall. I relish the opportunity to visit with voters as much of the agenda I promoted — including the special needs scholarship program – directly tie-back to conversations I had on voters doorsteps during the last campaign.”

Both candidates have told CapitolBeatOK that family support is a crucial factor in their continued political involvement.

Nelson expressed gratitude to his wife Lori and their two children: “Campaigning and serving is not always easy on a family, but it sure is important and has been a real blessing to us. I hope my service has been of value to my constituents as well.”