Republican candidate Teresa Sterling and Democrat Annie Menz will compete for the Oklahoma House District 45 seat in the Nov. 8 election.
Predecessor Merleyn Bell (D-Norman) is not running for reelection, leaving the seat open for both candidates. Sterling and Menz have both expressed how they would like to represent the district’s voices and concerns differently than Bell, especially with the controversy surrounding the ACCESS Oklahoma turnpike project.
TERESA STERLING (R)
Sterling did not respond to any of the OU Daily’s attempts to schedule an interview.
Sterling is a retired Oklahoma City police officer and small business owner of Capt. Jack’s Party Shack in Norman, Oklahoma.
Sterling’s focus is on protecting the elderly residents of Oklahoma and advocating for children's education, according to her Facebook page. She said her mother’s mistreatment in a care facility is why she chose to run for this seat.
On her Facebook page, Sterling wrote that a vote for her means a push for “common-sense legislation that will help regular everyday people.”
She supports higher education, and wrote that college is too expensive.
“Kids have become the victims of predatory lenders and colleges more concerned about their bottom dollar and less about a good well-rounded education,” Sterling wrote.
Sterling also supports stopping the progress of the new ACCESS Oklahoma turnpike project that would run through her district and attends Oklahoma Turnpike Authority meetings to inform her district of its progress.
“I am not running for this office because I need a job! If you want your voice to be heard at the Capital going forward, you have to VOTE on November 8, 2022,” Sterling wrote.
ANNIE MENZ (D)
Menz is a single mother and worked as a nonpartisan legislative and executive assistant at the Oklahoma State Capitol.
In an interview with the OU Daily, Menz said she is, like her opponent, fighting against the proposed turnpike. She also said she wants to support public education and working families, if elected.
Leading up to the election, Menz said she talked with the people of her district to gain a better understanding of the community's needs. She said her main focuses are housing needs and advocating for the rest of the district struggling in the current economy.
“I am just a regular, working mom. I'm pinching pennies in this tight economy just like everyone else in my district,” Menz said.
While the issue will take a lot of work, Menz said, there’s nothing she is not willing to do for the people of the district.
During her time at the Capitol, Menz said she primarily worked in the state Senate. She said she wants to bring that experience to the position.
Menz said that running for office isn’t easy, and she wouldn’t do it if she didn't feel the residents of her district were worth the effort.
If elected, Menz wants to advocate for the working families of east Norman, and while she may not agree with all the members of the district, she will always listen to concerns and represent them accordingly.
“I would be honored to have your vote and serve as your voice at the Capitol,” Menz said.
The general election is on Tuesday, Nov. 8. To check your voter registration, visit the OK Voter Portal.