Blake "Cowboy" Stephens says he is ready to face state issues head on with hard work, dedication and a passion to see the job through to the end.
Stephens, a veteran educator, has thrown his cowboy hat in the ring as he runs for the Oklahoma State Senate, District 3, on the Republican ticket. District 3 covers the entire county of Adair and portions of Cherokee, Delaware, Mayes, and Rogers counties.
Stephens said he takes pride in speaking directly.
"I was taught by my dad and grandpa that all you have in this life is your word. I vowed at a young age to be a man of my word. My word and handshake is a binding contract," he said.
He believes in being honest with his constituents.
"I believe in looking a man in the eye and giving a firm handshake," he said.
These values are a result of how he was raised and how he and his wife of 37 years, Kathy, raised their two children. Stephens said he has a strong belief that anything is achievable with hard work and dedication.
Stephens believes he is an approachable leader who has professional listening skills and a common-sense approach to solving the challenges of Northeast Oklahoma. His vision for Oklahoma is to continue to bring transparency to our government and make education funding a priority.
He would like to see the retention of Oklahoma educators by being competitive and taking care of retired state employees and educators by supporting pro-COLA legislation. Stephens said he is passionate about representing business owners and improving the infrastructure in rural Oklahoma. He would also like to see rural communities grow and prosper economically.
As a rancher, he plans to work hard at the Capitol for the farming and ranching community. As an avid hunter, he will continue to support wildlife conservation, and work toward the common goal of a greater Oklahoma.
Stephens believes in leading by example. He plans to be a harbinger of fiscal and social responsibility using the values taught to him by his parents.
"I am the 'Cowboy' that ran for governor of Oklahoma in 2018," Stephens said. "I have been praying about what the Lord would have me do concerning my future in politics. He has laid it on my heart to continue advocating for Oklahoma's turnaround."
An educator of 25 years, Stephens found his calling early on. His days are spent as a counselor and bus driver for the Locust Grove Public School district. He loves working with children and was dubbed "Cowboy" and "Woody" by his students.
When he is not at school, Stephens can be found on his ranch tending to his livestock, working the land and spending time with one of his hobbies, bow hunting. Stephens said he will strive to work for wildlife conservation and the efforts to maintain balance in the wildlife population and improving habitat. He enjoys hunting and fishing.
Stephens and his wife have applied wildlife conservation and land management practices on their ranch. Currently, the ranch is participating in the Illinois River Riparian Protection Conservation Initiative and Conservation Stewardship Program. Stephens is a third-generation competitive team roper and rodeo cowboy. As a teen, he was active in FFA. He served as the president and was on two national livestock judging teams. He earned his Oklahoma State Farmer Degree in 1979. Stephens attended Northeast Oklahoma A&M on a livestock judging scholarship and was elected sophomore class president the following year. After attaining his associate degree, he continued his education at Oklahoma State University and graduated with an ag ed degree.
Stephens said he is willing to roll up his sleeves and help anyone in need.
"I'm no stranger to hard work. Please don't take this as a brag. I'm applying for a job," Stephens said.