Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

September 16, 2011

Pettigrew announces election bid

TAHLEQUAH — McAlester businessman and former Republican Oklahoma Rep. Wayne Pettigrew formally an- nounced his candidacy for Congress in Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District this week.

The district covers most of eastern Oklahoma and is being vacated by U.S. Representative Dan Boren.

Pettigrew’s official announcement will came in his hometown of McAlester. Over the next several days, Pettigrew will visit over a dozen eastern Oklahoma communities to talk about his vision for conservative leadership and common-sense budgeting in Congress.

“With crushing debt and wasteful, excessive government spending, we face a crisis moment as a nation. We don’t have a moment to waste in returning to fiscal responsibility and right-sizing the federal government,” Pettigrew said.

He said he wants to use his private sector background in business and finance and his public sector experience from the Oklahoma Legislature to help solve the serious budget issues that are crippling the nation with a mountain of debt and deficits.

“Our new course must be rooted in balancing the federal budget while preserving the core functions of government.  With hard work, intelligence, common sense and faith in the first principles that made our country great, we can get our country moving in the right direction,” Pettigrew said.

“My campaign will be based on my proven conservative, pro-business voting record when in office and my proven track record as a businessman and someone who knows how to create jobs.”

Pettigrew founded two Oklahoma-based companies that now have over $70 million in assets and 50 employees.

The companies have over 6,000 shareholders in Oklahoma, with over 2,000 in the 2nd Congressional District alone.

Pettigrew said he has balanced over 40 state and corporate budgets in the past 25 years.

During his service in the state House of Representatives, Pettigrew had a 98 percent pro-business/economic development voting record, according to the Research Institute for Economic Development ratings.

Pettigrew served as a state representative from 1994 to 2004.

He was consistently ranked among the top 10 conservative legislators by The Oklahoma Constitution newspaper.

He served as lead author on key legislation for welfare reform, and for victims’ rights legislation, which allows victims’ family members to be present at executions and to be notified of parole eligibility.

Pettigrew said he had a 100 percent pro-life voting record and was an author of bills prohibiting late-term abortions and creating the “Choose Life” car tag.

An NRA member who was endorsed by the organization in every election, Pettigrew also had a 100 percent voting record on gun rights and was an author of the original Concealed Carry Bill.

Pettigrew’s roots run deep in eastern Oklahoma. His family came to Indian Territory before statehood. His parents are from far southeast Oklahoma - Smithville and Honobia. His great-grandmother was a Mississippi Choctaw.

Pettigrew was born in McAlester, making him the only candidate in the 2nd District race who is an actual native of the district. He graduated from McAlester High School in 1980.  

Pettigrew earned a business degree in Management, Finance and Accounting from East Central University in Ada.

He returned to McAlester in 2009 to care for his mother, who died in May 2010.

He and his wife, Toni, a former elementary school teacher, have two children: Alex, a senior at the University of Oklahoma, and Drew, 14.

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What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
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