Candidates vying for a seat on the House of Representatives met in Sand Springs for a public forum Monday.
Education was one of the hot button issues given to the candidates in Oklahoma's First District, and Democrat John Olson stressed that investment in education plays a vital role in America's long-term growth.
"Everybody else, all the other developed countries in the world, and even those that are developing, are investing in their education system. If we don't do it, we're gonna get left behind," said candidate John Olson.
Olson, a U.S. Army veteran, will face U.S. Navy veteran and Republican candidate Jim Bridenstine who responded to an accusation from Olson that he wanted to eliminate the Department of Education.
"I am not for eliminating the Department of Education, and I think what we have to do given the growth of the Department of Education, and given the growth of our deficit and debt, which is an anchor around the neck of this country. We have to be very careful about how fast these programs grow given the constraints of our budget," said candidate Jim Bridenstine.
Independent candidate and airline pilot Craig Allen is also in the race but did not participate in Monday's forum.
All three candidates in the race will debate the issues Tuesday night at ORU. NewsOn6.com plans to live stream the debate beginning at 6:30 p.m.