Lt. Governor Candidates Debate

Monday, October 30th 2006, 2:39 pm
By: News On 6

The candidates in the Lieutenant Governors race respond to each other's campaign ads.

State House Speaker Todd Hiett's ads claim Jari Askins blocked a major tax cut - but she says she blocked it only until she was able to improve it. It's the kind of argument that is defining a race where both sides say they're trying to set the record straight.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan puts the new ads to the Truth Test.

When they meet to debate in person, they're cordial but quick to disagree. Todd Hiett: "Lawsuit reform must be advanced, and again, my opponent and I differ on that issue." Jari Askins: "And the reforms that have been out there to restrict their access to the courthouse I don't believe are what justice is all about."

This debate was sponsored by KRMG radio of Tulsa. The much louder debate between the Lt. Governor candidates is statewide, on television, and not nearly as friendly. Todd Hiett ad: "Jari Askins - too liberal for Oklahoma." Jari Askins Ad: "And Todd, you know like everyone who knows me, I'm conservative, not liberal."

Their campaign ads reflect a race that both parties consider important for control of the state senate. Todd Hiett: "We have a very cordial relationship with one another, but we just have different visions, philosophies for Oklahoma's future."

Emory Bryan: "Is that why your ads say, ‘she's too liberal for Oklahoma?’" Todd Hiett: “Right.”

Askins says that's a distortion. "Well I think if someone is going to make inaccurate assertions about my record, it is incumbent upon me to clarify it." But Hiett says he's just trying to alert voters that there are differences. "I think if you look at issues there are major, major differences, philosophies between the candidates for Lt. Governor."

The question is - have the voters figured out all the differences and decided who should win the race.

The result of the Oklahoma poll, on the Lt. Governors race, comes out Tuesday night.