It was a very long week as I hosted a delegation of political visitors from El Salvador for five days. They had a very good time and hopefully this will improve trade relations between not only Oklahoma, but the United States.
We also had the 65th Rush Springs Watermelon Festival, Lions Club Rodeo, the inaugural 5K run (thank you Richy Large for organizing this) and my 20 year class reunion over the weekend. It was great seeing old friends as they come home for a visit.
There has been a trend in Oklahoma of record turnouts at festivals as we have seen people visiting local places over a weekend rather than travel for a longer vacation. This is great since we get to highlight many great places right here at home. Thanks also to State Auditor Steve Burrage, Sen. Kenneth Corn, Sen. Don Barrington and Rep. Corey Holland for being at the Festival.
The local Lions Club does the organizing for this festival, as does the Fletcher Lions Club with much for their upcoming fair. Good luck to the newly-formed Elgin Lions Club also as they began meetings last week. You should check out these clubs, along with the Apache Rotary, the Cyril Rotary, the Marlow Lions Club and the various clubs in Anadarko, Chickasha, Lawton and Duncan if you are looking for a civic club to join and help your community. Also, don't forget to attend the Apache Fair and Rodeo this upcoming weekend, sponsored by their local FFA and the Elgin FFA ice cream social at Osborn Park.
I had the pleasure of attending Pioneer School's back to school breakfast and Apache Public School's teacher luncheon. Sen. Tom Ivester and I will also be serving teachers dinner in Cement at the invitation of their school board on Tuesday night. It is definitely time to get ready for school and my football schedules should be ready soon.
On Thursday, I will be participating in a Health Care Forum at Camerson University in Lawton, specifically Shepler Hall. I, along with other state legislators, will discuss successes and failures in state health care policy. I hope it will be a good discussion, but also I hope that the discussion will be civil unlike what we have seen on the local news.
On a final note, it looks like Rep. Kris Steele will be the Republican candidate for Speaker and Rep. Scott Inman has been designated to be the Democratic candidate. Both are good men and it should be a spirited race. Kris and I are working on an interim study on prison reintigration programs this summer also. I look forward to analyzing needs in this area and finding a solution across the party lines.
It is an honor to represent your views at the State Capitol. If you wish to contact me and discuss one of these or another issue, I can be reached at my office in Oklahoma City toll-free at 1-800-522-8502, or directly at 1-405-557-7305. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org at work. My mailing address is PO Box 559, Rush Springs, OK 73082 and my website is http://www.joedorman.com/ on the Internet. Thank you for taking time to read this column and I look forward to seeing you soon.
photo cutline: Rep. Joe Dorman, Don McKay and State Auditor Steve Burrage at the annual cookout hosted by Don for his family, friends and visitors to the Watermelon Festival