Sen. Gumm reflects on tenure, future priorities

By Patrick B. McGuigan

Published: 14-Jun-2010

State Sen. Jay Paul Gumm of Durant, a Democrat, asked what is the most frustrating thing about service in the state Legislature, reflected, “You might hear the same thing from each of the legislators. The most frustrating thing in the legislative process to me has been that you get the sense that things don’t always happen because it’s the right thing. A lot of the things that happen take place for political reasons.”

On the other hand, what makes the job rewarding is this: “Whenever you get to help somebody with a real problem involving the government, and it gets resolved the best way it can; that is the job and it is extremely gratifying. It may sound simple but it is really good in terms of the job satisfaction. There is a lot of health discussion, debate and the clash of politics out here, but helping people is what really makes the job satisfying.”

Looking ahead to future legislative profiles, if he is reelected in the coming campaign season, Gumm said, “I will work to improve the quality of life for families in my district. I will continue to fight for quality economic development programs.

“There is some debate about whether or not we should even do economic development, but that’s rather academic. We can’t unilaterally disarm when it comes to economic competition. The tax credits are an important item in the state’s ‘tool box’ when it comes to economic development.”

On the same vein, he continued, “I can assure you that in response to some of the cuts in tax credits, the governments of the surrounding states are calling to our economic prospects and saying ‘come to us, we’re still offering incentives.’ We have to play in that game, it’s the only way to avoid a continued brain drain of our best and brightest.”

He said, “I will continue to look for brighter futures for the Oklahoma economy and the SE Oklahoma economy.”

Gumm is seeking reelection to his District 6 seat.