An OU graduate and Norman city councilwoman will run for state senate next year.
Alex Scott, who graduated in May with a master’s degree in public administration, became the youngest ever Norman city council member when she won her Ward 8 seat in July 2018.
Scott hopes to become the first Democrat to represent Senate District 15 since incumbent Rob Standridge was elected in 2012.
Scott told The Daily on Tuesday that her run for senate — which comes after she has served on the Norman City Council for a year — is motivated by her desire to prioritize the well-being of Oklahomans.
“The biggest thing is putting Oklahomans first, and that means changing the Oklahoma standard, which has not put Oklahomans first in a very long time,” Scott said. “Prioritizing our public education, public health, public transport, the environment, all of those things which really allow our economy and citizens to thrive.”
First-hand experience with the problems facing Oklahoma’s public school systems, Scott said, made education one of her top campaign issues.
“I’m a former public school teacher and I also grew up in rural Oklahoma. I remember what it was like to be forgotten by the state,” Scott said. “I’d like to make sure that teachers are receiving raises, and actually that goes for all state employees. I think our state employees have been left behind.”
Scott, 25, said her age can be an obstacle when running for public office, but added she has extensive political experience.
“That’s obviously a challenge — being a young woman in politics. People are going to say ‘oh she’s too young, she doesn’t have the experience, she’s not qualified,’” Scott said, “which is totally off-base, and it’s also ageist to say those things.”
Aside from time on Norman's City Council, her experience includes rallying for State Question 788, which legalized medical cannabis in Oklahoma, as well as involvement with several other campaigns for different offices in the state.
Scott said she hopes her connection with her constituents through regular public meetings will serve as an advantage throughout her campaign.
“I’m one of the only candidates that I know of that has regular town halls,” Scott said. “(Standridge) doesn’t host regular town halls. That’s a commitment I also intend to carry through at the state level because it’s not just about me and what I want to see, it’s about us and making sure that I’m receiving feedback from my constituents and making sure that I’m responding to their needs.”
Standridge currently has approximately $90,000 saved to support his 2020 campaign, according to a 2019 second quarter campaign finance report. Scott said this election would not be her first experience running against an opponent with more resources.
“Last year I unseated a moneyed incumbent with 58 percent of the vote. I raised barely $4,000 for my city council campaign and my opponent raised over $20,000,” Scott said. “That to me speaks volumes about the fact that when … the people are the ones voting and choosing their representation, money is not going to carry their vote, it’s going to be being on the ground with them.”
Scott said she hopes students at her alma mater will help make a difference and show up to the polls next year, and that she will be on campus periodically helping students register to vote.
“Young people are one of the largest voting blocs … if we want to see changes in our legislature then we have to get out and vote and get involved,” Scott said.