Three candidates will be on the ballot for lieutenant governor

Three candidates are on the Nov. 2 general ballot for lieutenant governor.

State senators Todd Lamb, R-Edmond, and Kenneth Corn, D-Poteau, and independent Richard Prawdzienski of Edmond are vying for the open seat.

The new lieutenant governor will replace Lt. Gov. Jari Askins, a Democrat, who is running for governor. Askins has held the lieutenant governor's seat since January 2007.

The key word for this race is jobs.

Corn, 34, said the need for the creation of high-skill jobs in Oklahoma is what led him to run for lieutenant governor.

"We need to recruit the types of jobs that have real wages, health care and benefits," he said. "A high school diploma is not good enough in the type of economy we're facing in this world today."

Corn would like to see Oklahoma classrooms modernized. One step, he said, is to work to decrease the state's high school dropout rate and increase the state's number of higher education degrees, including associate and vocational school degrees.

Corn also said he recently focused his attention on cracking down on lobbyists at the Capitol.

"We spend a lot of time taking care of issues that are not in the interest of the people," he said.

He has proposed that legislators be prohibited from receiving any gifts or financial incentives from lobbyists or their organizations and that no foreign entities can contribute to state or local candidates or issue campaigns.

Corn was a member of the state House of Representatives for four years before being elected to the state Senate in 2002. He currently is the Democratic caucus chairman in the Senate.

Lamb, 38, said his platform is "job retention, job recruitment and tourism for the purpose of economic development."

"It's a little personal for me," Lamb said of his focus on jobs. "My son is 10 and my daughter 7, and I want to make sure that when they get their degrees in Oklahoma, there are opportunities for them. Too often, our young people are forced to other states to find a job."

Job retention will require an "ongoing conversation with Oklahoma business owners," Lamb said. He wants to hear from Oklahoma businesses that do business in other states and determine if other states' policies could be adopted in Oklahoma, he said.

Lamb also wants to focus on reform for the workers' compensation system, he said.

"I have visited all 77 counties, and more often than not, I heard about workman's comp and how it is very burdensome on businesses."

Lamb said he would like to see increased investigations to eliminate fraudulent workers' comp claims. He also said he would push for a "table of debate" to study and consider workers' comp opt-out provisions for qualifying businesses.

Lamb was first elected to the Senate in 2004 and is the Republican majority floor leader. He is a former special agent with the U.S. Secret Service and has worked for former U.S. Sen. Don Nickles and former Gov. Frank Keating. He is a general counsel for the company CLS Group.

Prawdzienski, 62, said he supports a smaller government and wants to encourage Oklahomans to take the initiative to create jobs themselves.

"People don't like to think outside the box," Prawdzienski said. "I'm asking people to be creative. Can you write a book? Write it. Are you a singer? Sing a song."

Prawdzienski said that, as a Libertarian, he wants people to have more freedom and not rely on the government to create jobs.

"Fifty states are saying they're going to grow jobs and grow the economy," he said. "But how are they going to do that?"

Prawdzienski would like to see the number of bills the Legislature considers be reduced so legislators can focus on the specific details of each bill instead of rushing through them, he said.

Prawdzienski is a former state chair of the Libertarian Party of Oklahoma. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 10 years. "Hailey Branson-Potts

Democrat Kenneth Corn (from left), independent Richard Prawdzienski and Republican Todd Lamb are running for lieutenant governor.

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