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2 candidates face Republican incumbent Kevin Hern to represent Oklahoma’s 1st Congressional District

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Democrat Adam Martin (left), incumbent Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Okla.) (middle) and Independent Evelyn Rogers (right)

Republican incumbent Kevin Hern, Democrat Adam Martin and Independent Evelyn Rogers will compete for the U.S. House of Representatives for Oklahoma’s 1st Congressional District seat during the Nov. 8 election. 

Kevin Hern (R)

The OU Daily attempted to contact Hern three times through phone calls but could not reach him for comment before the publication’s deadline.

Hern earned an architectural drafting certificate in concurrent technical enrollment and received his bachelor’s degree from Arkansas Technical University and Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

After working as an aerospace engineer, he bought two McDonald’s franchises in Muskogee, Oklahoma, eventually owning multiple McDonald’s franchises in and around Tulsa.

Hern served 13 years on the National Leadership Team, which represented over 3,500 U.S. franchisees, serving for eight years as an ombudsman revolving disputes from a neutral viewpoint and five years as the chairman of the systems economic team. As the chairman, he was responsible for the multibillion-dollar relationship between the franchisees and McDonald’s Corporation for over 14,000 franchisee-owned restaurants across the U.S.

Hern also has part ownership in a manufacturing facility in Muskogee, real estate ventures, three technology companies and helped found a community bank.

According to Hern’s site, he believes improving the Department of Veterans Affairs system begins with ending waste and increasing accessibility.

“An inflated bureaucratic system has made care for our veterans expensive and ineffective,” Hern’s campaign website reads. “We need to fix the system rather than throwing taxpayer money at the problem.”

Regarding the U.S. budget, Hern’s website also reads he wants to end government waste and cut spending to reduce the budget deficit.

On his website, Hern wrote he has been a business owner for more than 30 years and knows that the American economy thrives when the government lessens its control. He is working to enact policies that will boost the economy, his website reads.

According to his website, Hern believes implementing tax cuts will stimulate the growth of the middle class and increased international trade will bring jobs and revenue to Oklahoma.

His website also reads the federal government should not be in charge of “rationing healthcare.” His website states he believes the Affordable Care Act placed the health care of the American people in the hands of bureaucrats, pricing many out of the healthcare market altogether. 

“We must reform the health care system into one that puts patients first and assures quality care for our people,” the website reads.

Hern prioritizes military preparedness, adequate defense funding and strengthening and modernizing the United States military, according to his campaign site.

“We must condemn Russian encroachment on American sovereignty, and we must be watchful of an emerging China,” the website reads.

Adam Martin (D)

Martin was raised in Wagoner, Oklahoma, and received a bachelor’s degree in history at Oklahoma State University. Martin’s focuses include quality education, good jobs and access to health care, according to his website.

Martin said it is important to speak with teachers firsthand to understand the issues in education and how to represent the district. 

“I want to make sure that with my administration, we're able to go out and talk to these businesses and also the schools,” Martin said. “Better yet, I want to talk about those issues to build our economy in a lot of different ways.”

Martin said he wants to build jobs in his district and make sure healthcare and education are at the top of his agenda. He also said he is open to discussion with anyone who wants to improve the community and build jobs.

Martin said he believes it's important to have leaders who believe reproductive freedom is fundamental to health care and that everyone must invest in a health care system that is affordable and ensures quality care for everyone.

Martin said he supports women’s rights and the 2SLGBTQ+ community. He said he believes everyone is free to do what they want to do, as long as they abide by law. 

“We're trying to build toward a better America,” Martin said. “We have to include everyone in that path forward.”

Martin said he wants to support 2SLGBTQ+ and women’s communities in any capacity he can.

“I want to make sure that we're putting a voice on the hurt and the pain that those communities are facing every day. It's a tragedy, how they're being treated,” Martin said. “I want to make sure that I'm able to uplift those communities and let them know that they have an ally with me, and I'm going to continue to fight for women's rights.”

Martin also said he would support gun reform measures and banning assault rifles, while protecting citizens’ right to own guns for hunting and protection. 

“Who needs that type of ammunition (assault rifles) on the streets?” Martin said “We're not at war with each other.”

Martin said his ultimate goal is to keep everyone safe and protect children, homes, churches and livelihood.

“We should have the right to feel safe not only in our homes, but (also) when we go shopping, out to the movies and school.”

Evelyn Rogers (I)

Rogers earned multiple degrees in California and Oklahoma before serving as a member of the Credentials Committee's Republican Party in Tulsa. 

Rogers wrote in an email to OU Daily that her goals are to observe and listen to people and support bills that she plans to submit. She also wrote voting is important.

“Congress has often stalled or had a stalemate in areas that should have come to a vote,” Rogers wrote. “Success, either way, can only happen with a vote.”

Rogers wrote she would like to alleviate issues in the federal government by helping Congress become functional while working with various points of view.

“Allow people to vote what they believe is right, and not to be controlled by just what party leaders say is right,” Rogers wrote.

The general election is on Tuesday, Nov. 8. To check your voter registration, visit the OK Voter Portal.

junior news reporter

Spencer Bias is a journalism junior and a junior news reporter at the Daily. He started at the Daily in the fall of 2020 and has previously served as a copy editor and news reporter. He is originally from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  

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